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Title:Advanced tests of nonlocality with entangled photons
Author(s):Christensen, Bradley G
Director of Research:Kwiat, Paul G
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Eckstein, James
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Leggett, Anthony; Mason, Nadya
Department / Program:Physics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Quantum nonlocality
Quantum information
Abstract:In 1935, Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen questioned whether quantum mechanics can be complete, as it seemingly does not adhere to a natural view of reality: local realism, which is the notion that an event can only be influenced by events in the past lightcone, and can only influence events in the future lightcone. This question sparked a philosophical debate that lasted for three decades, until John Bell demonstrated that not only are quantum mechanics and local realism philosophically incompatible, but they predict different statistical results for an appropriate set of measurements on entangled particles, which changed the debate to a scientific discussion. Since then, Bell inequality violations have occurred in a plethora of systems, hinting that local realism is indeed wrong. However, every experiment had imperfections that complicated the interpretation --- the experiments had so-called "loopholes" which allowed local realism to persist. In this manuscript, we present our work in using optimized sources of entangled photons to perform the long-sought loophole-free Bell test. This landmark experiment invalidates local realism to the best that science will allow. Beyond answering questions on reality, these Bell tests have a important application in generating provably-secure private random numbers, which then can be used as a seed for cryptographic applications. Not only do we demonstrate that nonlocality must exist, but we begin an experimental exploration in an attempt to understand and quantify this nonlocality. We do so by considering all theories that obey no-signaling (or relativistic causality). In our experiments, we observe the counter-intuitive feature of measuring more nonlocality with less entangled states. We also place a bound on the predictive power of any theory that obeys relativistic causality. And finally, we are able to measure quantum correlations only attainable through complex qubits. This work merely begins to probe the quantum boundary, beginning a journey that may someday find evidence of a beyond-quantum theory.
Issue Date:2016-04-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Bradley Christensen.
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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