Multi-photon entanglement: From quantum curiosity to quantum computing and quantum repeaters

Author(s): P. Walther, M. D. Eisaman, A. Nemiroski, A. V. Gorshkov, A. S. Zibrov, A. Zeilinger

Journal: SPIE

Volume: 6664

Page(s): 66640G

Year: 2007

DOI Number: 10.1117/12.736979

Link: Link to publication


In the emerging field of quantum information technology the two basic subfields are quantum communication and quantum computation. Photonic qubits are considered as most promising information carriers for this new technology due to the immense advantage of suffering negligible decoherence. Additionally, the very small photon-photon interactions can be replaced by inducing effective nonlinearities via measurements which allow for the implementation of crucial two-qubit gate operations. Although the spontaneous parametric down-conversion gives access to the generation of highly entangled few-photon states, such as four-qubit cluster states which allow to demonstrate the new concept of the one-way quantum computer, its applicability is highly limited due to the poor scaling of the simultaneous emission of more than one-entangled photon pair. Therefore of particular interest is the reversible mapping of qubits from photon states to atomic states. This might allow the implementation of photonic quantum repeaters for long-distance quantum communication or the generation of arbitrary multi-photon states as required for linear-optics quantum computing. Thus for the realization of such a quantum network several approaches for achieving the required quantum control between matter and photons have been studied during the past few years. Recent experiments demonstrating the generation of narrow-bandwidth single photons using a room-temperature ensemble of 87Rb atoms and electromagnetically induced transparency should emphasize the progress towards such a quantum network.

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