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Title: Characterisation and control of linear optical quantum computers
Author: Russell, Nick
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2016
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Quantum technologies have the potential to disrupt almost every aspect of our lives, the classic example being the prospect of a quantum computer breaking the classical encryption on which so much of the current world relies. Perhaps fortunately, the technical challenges involved in building such a machine are formidable and it remains a long term goal. At present, less disruptive quantum technologies such as quantum key distribution and quantum random number generation are already making their way out of the lab and being pursued by commercial enterprises. Between these two extremes, there is potential for applications of quantum technologies that will provide capabilities far beyond classical computers but can be realised on a much shorter timescale. The BOSONSAMPLING algorithm could provide a theoretically rigorous example of quantum superiority, while analogue quantum simulators demonstrate a more practically relevant task. In this thesis I focus on these two fields , and progress towards realising them in linear optics. I describe the use of reconfigurable linear optical circuits to perform simulations of vibrational states of molecules, and extend the simulation technique to open quantum systems. In addition to the challenge of performing these computations, a lot of work must go in to the related tasks of controlling the equipment and verifying its output. This thesis discusses some of these procedures in detail, in particular verification of correct operation of reconfigurable linear optical circuits and control of a BOSONSAMPLING experiment. Finally, I present a new tomography procedure for experimentally determining the Hamiltonian underlying evolution of a system of non-interacting bosons, and describe an experimental realisation in a photonic quantum walk.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available