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Title: Preparing and characterizing quantum states of light using photon-number-resolving detectors
Author: Thekkadath, Guillaume Suresh
ISNI:       0000 0004 9356 6168
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2020
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A longstanding goal in quantum optics has been to realize a photon-number-resolving detector that efficiently counts the number of photons in an optical field. This goal has been largely met with the development of transition edge sensors which can count up to roughly 20 photons with efficiencies over 95%. This thesis presents three experiments that employ these detectors to characterize and prepare quantum states of light. Firstly, we develop a weak-field homodyne detector. By replacing the photodiodes conventionally used in homodyne detection with transition edge sensors, we experimentally implement a versatile measurement device that can tune between photon counting and quadrature measurements. We study the transition between these complementary measurement regimes and determine the minimum local oscillator strength needed to perform quadrature measurements. Secondly, we use the weak-field homodyne detector as a quantum state engineering tool. We propose a scheme to prepare a wide range of definite parity states, including two- and four-component Schrödinger cat states of arbitrary size with nearly perfect fidelity. Thirdly, we perform optical interferometry using quantum states of light with the aim of surpassing the maximal precision achievable with classical light, i.e. the shot-noise limit. We propose and experimentally implement a scheme that uses high-gain squeezed vacuum sources and transition edge sensors to prepare loss-tolerant entangled states containing up to 8 photons. While our achieved precision does not unconditionally (i.e. without post-selecting on certain measurement trials) surpass the shot-noise limit, our results do demonstrate the robustness of these entangled states to loss despite their size.
Supervisor: Lvovsky, Alexander ; Walmsley, Ian ; Patel, Raj Sponsor: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada ; Oriel College ; University of Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Physics