We probe the use of optical frequency combs to place lower bounds on anomalous amplification of a weak-value-measured pulse delay, potentially reaching a theoretical temporal resolution of better than 10−34 s. Owing to the interferometric behavior of weak values, we show that anomalous weak value amplification of a time delay is not equivalent to a temporal linear phase ramp. We show that the anomalous weak value is a rearrangement of amplitudes that generates an apparent shift that can be measured in direct detection, but does not change the actual frequency offset of a spectral distribution measurable in coherent detection. This implies that high-precision heterodyne beatnote frequency measurements of an optical frequency comb cannot be used in combination with the weak value amplification, at least in its currently conceived form. This unfortunate feature sheds light on the nature of anomalous weak values in shifting the pointer in a conjugate basis.
J. C. Howell, Weakness of weak values: Incompatibility of anomalous pulse-spectrum amplification and optical frequency combs, Phys. Rev. A 106, 012224 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevA.106.012224
American Physical Society