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Photon Fishing
Department of Physics, University of Queensland, QLD 4072, Brisbane, Australia.
There is considerable interest in experimentally implementing quantum information (QI)
protocols and quantum computation. It has been proposed that a quantum computer can
be built solely with linear optics, single photon sources and photodetectors [Knil et al.]
Such schemes require simultaneous input of several single photons (Fock states). With
current technologies this is difficult as although large rates of production of two photons
are achievable (eg 460,000/s), the production of greater than two photons is considerably
slower (eg 0.0065/s for 4). In QI analysis of states and dynamics is necessary and can be
achieved by state and process tomography. Both require large number of measurements
to give small uncertainties, and with low photon production rates the data acquisition
time becomes infeasibly long.
However, coherent states are by contrast readily available, and it has been shown that
non-classical effects such as the Hong-Ou-Mandel dip can be reproduced to some extent
with one photon and a weak coherent state [Rarity et al.] We extend this concept, and
propose several demonstration experiments where some of the single photon sources are
replaced by weak coherent states --- this promises data acquisition at much greater rates
than that possible with current photon sources.
E. Knill, R. Laflamme, and G. Milburn, Nature 409, 46 (2001).
P. R. T. J. G. Rarity and R. Loudon, quant-ph/9702032 (unpublished).