Tomography and its role in Quantum Computation

W. J. Munro, D. F.V. James, A. G. White, P. G. Kwait

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Quantum computation depends on quantum entanglement, a correlation between subsystems that cannot occur classically. A variety of theoretical measures exist for quantifying the degree entanglement in such schemes, all of which are functions of the system density matrix. How can the entanglement be measured experimentally? Using quantum tomography techniques developed for two photon entangled states, the density matrix can be reconstructed from the appropriate experimental data. In this case the state tomography gives the complete characterization of the physical system (for the relevant degree of freedom, such as spin or polarization). It gives information on both the degree of nonclassical correlation, that is entanglement, as well as the amount of decoherence in the system. In this proceedings we discuss the general state tomography procedure required to characterize a few qubit quantum computer, for any architecture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHP Laboratories Technical Report
Issue number53
StatePublished - Mar 21 2001


  • Quantum tomography
  • State reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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