Research ArticleQuantum Mechanics

High-dimensional quantum cloning and applications to quantum hacking

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Science Advances  03 Feb 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 2, e1601915
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1601915

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Attempts at cloning a quantum system result in the introduction of imperfections in the state of the copies. This is a consequence of the no-cloning theorem, which is a fundamental law of quantum physics and the backbone of security for quantum communications. Although perfect copies are prohibited, a quantum state may be copied with maximal accuracy via various optimal cloning schemes. Optimal quantum cloning, which lies at the border of the physical limit imposed by the no-signaling theorem and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, has been experimentally realized for low-dimensional photonic states. However, an increase in the dimensionality of quantum systems is greatly beneficial to quantum computation and communication protocols. Nonetheless, no experimental demonstration of optimal cloning machines has hitherto been shown for high-dimensional quantum systems. We perform optimal cloning of high-dimensional photonic states by means of the symmetrization method. We show the universality of our technique by conducting cloning of numerous arbitrary input states and fully characterize our cloning machine by performing quantum state tomography on cloned photons. In addition, a cloning attack on a Bennett and Brassard (BB84) quantum key distribution protocol is experimentally demonstrated to reveal the robustness of high-dimensional states in quantum cryptography.

  • Quantum Cloning
  • Quantum Hacking
  • Optical Angular Momentum

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