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Title:Applications of quantum measurement techniques: counterfactual quantum computation, spin hall effect of light, and atomic-vapor-based photon detectors
Author(s):Hosten, Onur
Director of Research:Kwiat, Paul G.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):DeMarco, Brian L.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Kwiat, Paul G.; Baym, Gordon A.; Hertzog, David W.
Department / Program:Physics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Counterfactual computation
Spin Hall effect of light
weak measurements
ultra-high-efficiency photon detection
atomic vapors
Abstract:This dissertation investigates several physical phenomena in atomic and optical physics, and quantum information science, by utilizing various types and techniques of quantum measurements. It is the deeper concepts of these measurements, and the way they are integrated into the seemingly unrelated topics investigated, which binds together the research presented here. The research comprises three different topics: Counterfactual quantum computation, the spin Hall effect of light, and ultra-high-efficiency photon detectors based on atomic vapors. Counterfactual computation entails obtaining answers from a quantum computer without actually running it, and is accomplished by preparing the computer as a whole into a superposition of being activated and not activated. The first experimental demonstration is presented, including the best performing implementation of Grover’s quantum search algorithm to date. In addition, we develop new counterfactual computation protocols that enable unconditional and completely deterministic operation. These methods stimulated a debate in the literature, on the meaning of counterfactuality in quantum processes, which we also discuss. The spin Hall effect of light entails tiny spin-dependent displacements, unsuspected until 2004, of a beam of light when it changes propagation direction. The first experimental demonstration of the effect during refraction at an air-glass interface is presented, together with a novel enabling metrological tool relying on the concepts of quantum weak measurements. Extensions of the effect to smoothly varying media are also presented, along with utilization of a time-varying version of the weak measurement techniques. Our approach to ultra-high-efficiency photon detection develops and extends a recent novel non-solid-state scheme for photo-detection based on atomic vapors. This approach is in principle capable of resolving the number of photons in a pulse, can be extended to non-destructive detection of photons, and most importantly is proposed to operate with single-photon detection efficiencies exceeding 99%, ideally without dark counts. Such a detector would have tremendous implications, e.g., for optical quantum information processing. The feasibility of operation of this approach at the desired level is studied theoretically and several promising physical systems are investigated.
Issue Date:2010-05-19
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Onur Hosten
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-05-19
Date Deposited:May 2010

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