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Photonic quantum technologies


The first quantum technology that harnesses quantum mechanical effects for its core operation has arrived in the form of commercially available quantum key distribution systems. This technology achieves enhanced security by encoding information in photons such that an eavesdropper in the system can be detected. Anticipated future quantum technologies include large-scale secure networks, enhanced measurement and lithography, and quantum information processors, which promise exponentially greater computational power for particular tasks. Photonics is destined to have a central role in such technologies owing to the high-speed transmission and outstanding low-noise properties of photons. These technologies may use single photons, quantum states of bright laser beams or both, and will undoubtedly apply and drive state-of-the-art developments in photonics.

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Figure 1: Encoding and manipulating a qubit in a single photon.
Figure 2: An optical CNOT gate.
Figure 3: Generalized teleportation and its applications.
Figure 4: One-way quantum computation and cluster states.
Figure 5: Silica-on-silicon photonic quantum circuits.
Figure 6: A basic photonic crystal quantum circuit.


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J.L.O.B. acknowledges support from EPSRC, QIP IRC, IARPA, ERC and the Leverhulme Trust, and also acknowledges a Royal SocietyWolfson Merit Award. A.F. acknowledges financial support from SCF, GIA, G-COE, PFN, MEXT, SCOPE and REFOST. J.V. acknowledges support from ONR, ARO and NSF.

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O'Brien, J., Furusawa, A. & Vučković, J. Photonic quantum technologies. Nature Photon 3, 687–695 (2009).

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