Research ArticleOPTICS

Synchronization of optical photons for quantum information processing

Science Advances  27 May 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 5, e1501772
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501772

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A fundamental element of quantum information processing with photonic qubits is the nonclassical quantum interference between two photons when they bunch together via the Hong-Ou-Mandel (HOM) effect. Ultimately, many such photons must be processed in complex interferometric networks. For this purpose, it is essential to synchronize the arrival times of the flying photons and to keep their purities high. On the basis of the recent experimental success of single-photon storage with high purity, we demonstrate for the first time the HOM interference of two heralded, nearly pure optical photons synchronized through two independent quantum memories. Controlled storage times of up to 1.8 μs for about 90 events per second were achieved with purities that were sufficiently high for a negative Wigner function confirmed with homodyne measurements.

  • Quantum information processing
  • quantum memory
  • quantum optics
  • single photon
  • homodyne measurement
  • Hong-Ou-Mandel effect
  • parametric down conversion
  • Wigner function
  • quantum state tomography
  • concatenated cavity

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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