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Title: Experimental techniques for continuous variable photonic quantum information
Author: Coldenstrodt-Ronge , Hendrik B.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2723 6339
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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Quantum optics is central to emerging quantum technologies such as quantum metrology and quantum information. The continuous variable (CV) approach to encoding information in a physical system, for example the electromagnetic field quadratures has significant advantages over discrete variables (DV) encoding. CV offers higher density encoding in a single optical state and on-demand state preparation for example. However, techniques for CV preparation, manipulation and measurement are not as well developed as the corresponding DV approach. In this thesis we present methods to characterize quantum detectors that operate in the CV regime, and discuss their application to CV state preparation. A quantum detector is described by its positive operator valued measure (POVM) set, with one operator for each measurement outcome. We present an experimental scheme for detector tomography, that is reconstruction of the POVM set of an unknown detector by means of measurement outcomes for a set of tomographically complete input states. We use this scheme to experimentally determine the POVM set of an avalanche photodiode (APD) and a time-multiplexed-detector (TMD) and compare the results to models of the detectors. We introduce a weak-homodyne photon-number-resolving detector (PNRD) , which uses a weak local oscillator beam to set a phase reference for the detection process. We develop a theoretical description of the sensitivity regimes for this detector using the Wigner phase space picture. We also present experimental detector tomography for a weak-homodyne detector based on two APDs. In many cases it is sufficient to calibrate the efficiencies of previously characterized PNRDs. We experimentally demonstrate a scheme using correlated photons produced by spontaneous parametric downconversion (SPDC) to determine the efficiencies of PNRDs, based on the photon number statistics of the source. The same SPDC source is also used to demonstrate preparation of photonic states in the photon number basis and for a first proof-of-principle experiment with a weak-homodyne PNRD based on a TMD.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available