Precise creation, characterization and manipulation of single optical qubits

Nicholas Peters, Joseph Altepeter, Evan Jeffrey, David Branning, Paul Kwiat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present the theoretical basis for and experimental verification of arbitrary single-qubit state generation, using the polarization of photons generated via spontaneous parametric downconversion. Our precision measurement and state reconstruction system has the capability to distinguish over 3 million states, all of which can be reproducibly generated using our state creation apparatus. In order to complete the triumvirate of single qubit control, there must be a way to not only manipulate single qubits after creation and before measurement, but a way to characterize the manipulations themselves. We present a general representation of arbitrary processes, and experimental techniques for generating a variety of single qubit manipulations, including unitary, decohering, and (partially) polarizing operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-517
Number of pages15
JournalQuantum Information and Computation
Issue numberSPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Oct 2003


  • Parametric down-conversion
  • Photon polarization
  • Quantum process
  • Qubit
  • Tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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