Large-Scale Cluster-State Entanglement in the Quantum Optical Frequency Comb

Chen, Moran, Physics - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Pfister, Olivier, Department of Physics, University of Virginia

Ever since its discovery, quantum mechanics has remained an intensely active field, and its real-world applications continue to unfold rapidly. In 1982, Richard Feynman proposed a new type of computer operating directly under quantum mechanics laws: – the quantum computer \cite{Feynman1982}. Compared with the classical computer, whose information is encoded in “bits”, the quantum computer, whose information is encoded in “quantum bits”, or “qubits”, will be able to perform calculations exponentially faster for such problems as factoring large integers into primes and simulating complicated quantum systems. Due to their extremely powerful calculation speeds and abilities, quantum computers have been the long-pursued dreams for both experimentalists and theorists in many research groups, government agencies, industrial companies, etc., and the fast-paced developments in their architecture and speed continue to make them more and more attractive.
There are two principal models of quantum computing: the circuit model and the measurement-based model. The circuit model is similar to a traditional computer where there are inputs, gates and outputs. The measurement-based model is different, as it is crucially based on the cluster state, a type of highly entangled quantum state. In this new model, quantum computing begins with an initial cluster state and then carries out calculations by physical measurements of the cluster state itself along with feedforward. Thus, the cluster state serves as the material and resource for the entire set of calculations, and it is an extremely important part of measurement-based quantum computing.

This thesis will discuss an experimental and theoretical work that holds the world record for the largest entangled cluster state ever created whose 60 qumodes (optical versions of qubits) are all available simultaneously. Moreover, the entangled state we created is not random, and it is a cluster state which meets the specific requirements for implementing quantum computing. In the race to build a practical quantum computer, the ability to create such a large cluster state is paramount. Also, our creative optical method to generate massive entanglement advances many other methods due to its high efficiency, super-compactness and large scalability. The entanglement proceeds from interfering multiple EPR entangled pairs, which are generated from the down-converting process of a nonlinear crystal in an optical parametric oscillator, into a very long dual-rail wire cluster state. Moreover, many copies of the same state can easily be obtained by merely adjusting the frequencies of the pump lasers. These cluster states serve as building blocks of the universal quantum computer, and also are, in their own right, important resources for studying and exploring quantum mechanics in large systems.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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