Abstract:
Geometric phase has been proposed as one of the promising methodologies to perform fault tolerant quantum computations. However, since decoherence plays a crucial role in such studies, understanding of mixed state geometric phase has become important. While mixed state geometric phase was first introduced mathematically by Uhlmann, recently Sjoqvist et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 85(14), 2845 (2000)] have described the mixed state geometric phase in the context of quantum interference and shown theoretically that the visibility as well as the shift of the interference pattern are functions of geometric phase and the purity of the mixed state. Here we report the first experimental study of the dependence of interference visibility and shift of the interference pattern on the mixed state geometric phase by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.

Abstract:
We provide a physical prescription based on interferometry for introducing the total phase of a mixed state undergoing unitary evolution, which has been an elusive concept in the past. We define the parallel transport condition that provides a connection-form for obtaining the geometric phase for mixed states. The expression for the geometric phase for mixed state reduces to well known formulas in the pure state case when a system undergoes noncyclic and unitary quantum evolution.

Abstract:
We find for the unitary evolution of spin-1/2 systems that the "purely mathematical mixed state holonomy of Uhlmann limitedly agrees, in the case of evolution over geodesic spherical triangles, with the holonomy "in the experimental context of quantum interferometry" recently proposed by Sjoqvist, Pati, Ekert, Anandan, Ericsson, Oi and Vedral (Phys. Rev. Lett. 85 [2000], 2845-2848).

Abstract:
We extend the off-diagonal geometric phase [Phys. Rev. Lett. {\bf 85}, 3067 (2000)] to mixed quantal states. The nodal structure of this phase in the qubit (two-level) case is compared with that of the diagonal mixed state geometric phase [Phys. Rev. Lett. {\bf 85}, 2845 (2000)]. Extension to higher dimensional Hilbert spaces is delineated. A physical scenario for the off-diagonal mixed state geometric phase in polarization-entangled two-photon interferometry is proposed.

Abstract:
Examples of geometric phases abound in many areas of physics. They offer both fundamental insights into many physical phenomena and lead to interesting practical implementations. One of them, as indicated recently, might be an inherently fault-tolerant quantum computation. This, however, requires to deal with geometric phases in the presence of noise and interactions between different physical subsystems. Despite the wealth of literature on the subject of geometric phases very little is known about this very important case. Here we report the first experimental study of geometric phases for mixed quantum states. We show how different they are from the well understood, noiseless, pure-state case.

Abstract:
Off-diagonal mixed state phases based upon a concept of orthogonality adapted to unitary evolution and a proper normalisation condition are introduced. Some particular instances are analysed and parallel transport leading to the off-diagonal mixed state geometric phase is delineated. A complete experimental realisation of the off-diagonal mixed state geometric phases in the qubit case using polarisation-entangled two-photon interferometry is proposed.

Abstract:
Two-photon intensity interferometry is shown to provide an accurate measurement of lifetime of quark-gluon plasma created in ultra-relativistic heavy ion collisions via the difference of outward and sidewardcorrelation radii. Under the assumption of a longitudinal, boost invariant expansion of the plasma, we obtain analytical expressions for the correlations from the quark-gluon plasma phase. A $3+1$ dimensional expansion of the plasma along with a first order phase transition to hadrons is next considered, and, leads to a source with two characteristic lifetimes, one for the quark-gluon plasma phase, and the other for the longer lived mixed phase. This may even help us to {\em experimentally} determine the order of the phase transition.

Abstract:
A kinematic approach to the geometric phase for mixed quantal states in nonunitary evolution is proposed. This phase is manifestly gauge invariant and can be experimentally tested in interferometry. It leads to well-known results when the evolution is unitary.

Abstract:
We propose a polarised intensity interferometry experiment, which measures the nonlocal Pancharatnam phase acquired by a pair of Hanbury Brown-Twiss photons. The setup involves two polarised thermal sources illuminating two polarised detectors. Varying the relative polarisation angle of the detectors introduces a two photon geometric phase. Local measurements at either detector do not reveal the effects of the phase, which is an optical analog of the multiparticle Aharonov-Bohm effect. The geometric phase sheds light on the three slit experiment and suggests ways of tuning entanglement.

Abstract:
Photons and mesons are both bosons and therefore satisfy the same Bose-Einstein statistics. This leads to certain similarities in the corresponding Bose-Einstein correlations which underly photon and hadron intensity interferometry. However there are also important differences between the two effects and these will be analyzed in the following.