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We experimentally investigate the relative advantages of implementing weak-value-based metrology versus standard methods. While the techniques outlined herein apply more generally, we measure small optical beam deflections both using a Sagnac interferometer with a monitored dark port (the weak-value-based technique), and by focusing the entire beam to a split detector (the standard technique). By introducing controlled external transverse detector modulations and transverse beam deflection momentum modulations, we quantify the mitigation of these sources in the weak-value-based experiment versus the standard focusing experiment. The experiments are compared using a combination of deterministic and stochastic methods. In all cases, the weak-value technique performs the same or better than the standard technique by up to two orders of magnitude in precision for our parameters. We further measure the statistical efficiency of the weak-value-based technique. By postselecting on 1% of the photons, we obtain 99% of the available Fisher information of the beam deflection parameter.


This article was originally published in Physical Review A, volume 92, issue 3, in 2015.

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American Physical Society

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Optics Commons



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