Optimal photons for quantum-information processing

Peter P. Rohde*, Timothy C. Ralph, Michael A. Nielsen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    69 Citations (Scopus)


    Photonic quantum-information processing schemes, such as linear optics quantum computing, and other experiments relying on single-photon interference, inherently require complete photon indistinguishability to enable the desired photonic interactions to take place. Mode-mismatch is the dominant cause of photon distinguishability in optical circuits. Here we study the effects of photon wave-packet shape on tolerance against the effects of mode mismatch in linear optical circuits, and show that Gaussian distributed photons with large bandwidth are optimal. The result is general and holds for arbitrary linear optical circuits, including ones which allow for postselection and classical feed forward. Our findings indicate that some single photon sources, frequently cited for their potential application to quantum-information processing, may in fact be suboptimal for such applications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number052332
    JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005


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