Quantum memory protocols in large cold atomic ensembles

Lucile Veissier 1
1 Optique quantique / Quantum Optics Group
LKB (Jussieu) - Laboratoire Kastler Brossel
Abstract : Quantum memories are an essential building block for quantum information science, and in particular for the implementation of quantum communications across long distances. A quantum memory is defined as a system capable of storing and retrieving quantum states on-demand, such as quantum bits (qubits). Atomic ensembles are good candidates for this purpose because they enables strong light-matter coupling in case of a large number of atoms. Moreover, the collective effect, enhanced in the regime of large optical depth, can lead to storage efficiency close to unity. Thus, in this thesis, a large magneto-optical trap for cesium atoms is used as a atomic medium in order to implement a quantum memory protocol based on electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). First, the EIT phenomenon is studied through a criterion for the discrimination between the EIT and the Autler-Townes splitting models. We then report on the implementation of an EIT-based memory for photonic qubits encoded in orbital angular momentum (OAM) of light. A reversible memory for Laguerre-Gaussian modes is implemented, and we demonstrate that the optical memory preserves the handedness of the helical structure at the single-photon level. Then, a full quantum state tomography of the retrieved OAM encoded qubits is performed, giving fidelities above the classical bound. This showed that our optical memory operates in the quantum regime. Finally, we present the implementation of the so-called DLCZ protocol in our ensemble of cold atoms, enabling the generation of heralded single photons. A homodyne detection setup allows us to realize the quantum tomography of the created photonic state.
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Lucile Veissier. Quantum memory protocols in large cold atomic ensembles. Quantum Physics [quant-ph]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2013. English. ⟨tel-00977307⟩

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