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Title: Experimental entanglement distillation of continuous-variable optical states
Author: Bartley, Tim J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5914 4543
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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Entangled photons are ideally suited to the transmission of photonic quantum information. Mitigating the effects of decoherence is fundamental to distributing photonic entanglement across large distances. One such proposal is entanglement distillation, in which operations on a large ensemble of weakly entangled states generate a smaller ensemble of more strongly entangled states. In this thesis, we experimentally and theoretically analyse various tools required for demonstrating continuous-variable (CV) entanglement distillation, following the proposal by Browne et al., [Phys. Rev. A 67, 062320 (2003)]. Specifically, we propose figures of merit to account for the practical limitations of non-deterministic non-Gaussian operations, and analyse the experimental parameters necessary to optimise them. We develop a source of pulsed two-mode squeezed states, which are the initial states of our entanglement distillation protocol. We use weak-field homodyne detection as a phase-dependent photon counting detector, and demonstrate its utility in conditional state generation. Using these states, we demonstrate sub-binomial light as a tool for benchmarking quantum states. Finally, we applied two-mode weak-field homodyne detection to two entangled states and demonstrate correlations in the photon counting statistics which depend on a joint phase from two independent local oscillators. This setup is sufficient to apply an entanglement witness developed by Puentes et al. [New J. Phys. 12, 033042 (2010)]. Despite encouraging simulations, we do not witness entanglement with this scheme, which we attribute to a noise source unaccounted for in the simulations. Although we do not demonstrate entanglement distillation outright, the tools we develop to do so represent a general, hybrid approach to CV quantum optics. Developing tools such as phase-resolved projective measurement on two-mode states allows us to probe both the wave and particle nature of entangled light at the single-photon level. Using and expanding these techniques to probe larger quantum systems may prove useful in studies of fundamental physics and quantum enhanced technologies.
Supervisor: Walmsley, Ian A. Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Atomic and laser physics ; Quantum optics ; entanglement ; photonics