Research ArticlePHYSICS

Heralded quantum steering over a high-loss channel

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Science Advances  05 Jan 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 1, e1701230
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1701230
  • Fig. 1 Conceptual representation of the quantum steering protocols.

    The blue background denotes untrusted channel components that belong to Alice, and the green background denotes the trusted side, Bob. (A) Conventional steering: ① Alice prepares a pair of photons and sends one of them to Bob. ② Bob announces his measurement setting, k, from a predetermined set of n observables. ③ Bob records his measurement outcome Embedded Image, and Alice declares her result Ak. Steps 1 to 3 are iterated to obtain the steering parameter Sn. (B) Heralded quantum steering protocol. Bob uses a classical signal from a successful Bell state measurement (BSM) measurement ②a to herald the presence of Alice’s photon after the lossy channel, ignoring all the trials when the BSM was not successful. From step ②b, the protocol proceeds as in (B).

  • Fig. 2 Experimental setup.

    Two group-velocity-matched sources (25), PS1 and PS2, are pumped by a mode-locked femtosecond Ti:sapphire laser to generate two polarization-entangled photon pairs at 1570 nm in the |Ψ〉 state. Blue and green backgrounds outline the untrusted and trusted sides, respectively (all untrusted elements are grouped with Alice, even if they are not in her “lab” in practice). A-PA and B-PA are the polarization analyzer (tomography) stages of Alice and Bob, and BSM is the Bell state measurement gate, composed of a nonpolarizing 50:50 beam splitter. A variable neutral density (ND) filter is used in the output of PS2 leading to the BSM to introduce the channel loss, L. Eight-nanometer band-pass (BP) filters were placed in the path of the photon going to B-PA and after beam splitter (BS), increasing the singlet state fidelity and interference visibility while maintaining Alice’s high heralding efficiency. For the conventional steering measurement, the output of PS2 containing the ND filter was directly connected to the A-PA stage through the fiber, bypassing the BSM gate and PS1. SNSPD, superconducting nanowire single-photon detector; PP-KTP, periodically poled potassium titanyl phosphate.

  • Fig. 3 Experimental results.

    (A) Real and (B) imaginary parts of the reconstructed density matrix ρ of the entanglement-swapped two-photon state with no additional loss applied to the quantum channel. (C) Quantum steering measurement results for different amounts of channel loss. Black and gray lines are, respectively, the C6(ε) and C(ε) steering bounds from the study of Bennet et al. (21), and the red background highlights the region where detection loophole–free steering with the n = 6 measurement fails. The black circle, green triangles, yellow diamonds, and red squares mark the steering results achieved in the presence of 0, 7.7 ± 0.1, 11.3 ± 0.1, and 14.8 ± 0.1 dB of added channel loss, respectively. Filled markers correspond to steering parameters measured with the conventional steering protocol. Empty markers correspond to the heralded quantum steering results, each calculated from at least 500 fourfold coincidence counts (Table 1).

  • Table 1 Experimental parameters and rates.

    The pump power P, approximate counting time, and total number of fourfold coincidence counts measured for different amounts of loss, L.

    L (dB)P(PS1) (mW)P(PS2) (mW)Count time (hours)Fourfolds
    7.7100508.3730
    11.3904021.6549
    14.8754098.5594

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    This PDF file includes:

    • fig. S1. Proposed space-time diagram of the heralded steering protocol, illustrating the conditions to close the locality and freedom-of-choice loopholes.
    • fig. S2. Alice’s heralding efficiency.

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