Doctoral Defense: Hong Ou Mandel Interferometer: A Quantum Measurement Tool

Tuesday, August 7, 2012 – 10:00am
Reiss 261A
Natalia Borjemscaia Rutter

Quantum computing research has been around for several decades, since it was first proposed by Richard Feynman. Many efforts have been made to utilize quantum systems in creation of new computing devices in the recent years. One of the essential tools used for characterization and manipulation of optical quantum systems is a Hong Ou Mandel (HOM) Interferometer. It is used in this work to provide information about propagation, distortion and degree of indistinguishability of single photons.

This work provides complete characterization of an optical tunneling effect in dielectric Bragg gratings. Samples with different thin film configurations are examined and their corresponding propagation delay times are calculated with sub-femtosecond precision. It is determined that for specific configurations for dielectric stacks, propagation delays can exhibit superluminal behavior. The distortion due to this effect is also calculated using HOM profiles.

HOM interferometer is also used to calculate the degree of coalescence between two dissimilar sources. Single photons generated by quantum dot emission and parametric down conversion are tailored through aggressive filtering techniques to be identical in their spectral, temporal and polarization profiles. The degree of their coalescence is then calculated in an attempt to create quantum interference.
This work attempts to provide better understanding of single photon interactions through use of an HOM interferometer.