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PhD Proposal Defense - Meimei Lai

Meimei successfully defended her PhD proposal on Monday, May 17, 2010.

Quantum Information Processing with Tapered Optical Fibers

The race between various approaches (ions, NMR, photons, etc.) to quantum computing has been becoming more and more fierce since the idea of quantum computer came up in the early 1980’s. The research on the quantum information processing is not only providing us with the possibility of a revolutionary computer which can do several important things (quantum simulation, large number factorization and database searching) that are difficult or impossible on a traditional computer, but also giving us profound understanding and new insights about nature.

Our group has been interested in an optical approach to quantum computation and proposed a universal optical quantum logic gate that uses the quantum Zeno effect to prevent errors associated with two photons exiting a device in one mode. These “Zeno Gates” require very strong Two-Photon Absorption (TPA) but very weak single photon absorption (SPA). In addition to Zeno Gates, strong TPA can be also used to realize ultra efficient classical optical switches, and it is a promising tool to develop a new kind of single photon source.

My PhD research will primarily focus on the experimental realization of strong TPA with weak light beams. The system we will be using consists of a sub-wavelength diameter Tapered Optical Fiber (TOF) suspended in Rubidium vapor. Once achieved, this strong TPA system will also allow us to investigate a number of other effects in quantum optics and quantum information processing. Recent experimental progresses on the development of a state of the art TOF fabrication system and future plans will be discussed.