Complete Characterization of Quantum-Optical Processes

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Science  24 Oct 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5901, pp. 563-566
DOI: 10.1126/science.1162086

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The technologies of quantum information and quantum control are rapidly improving, but full exploitation of their capabilities requires complete characterization and assessment of processes that occur within quantum devices. We present a method for characterizing, with arbitrarily high accuracy, any quantum optical process. Our protocol recovers complete knowledge of the process by studying, via homodyne tomography, its effect on a set of coherent states, that is, classical fields produced by common laser sources. We demonstrate the capability of our protocol by evaluating and experimentally verifying the effect of a test process on squeezed vacuum.

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