Abstract:
We report the development of a fiber-based single spatial mode source of photon-pairs where the efficiency of extracting photon-pairs is improved over a previous source [18] through the use of fiber-end expansion and Bragg filters. This improvement in efficiency enabled a spectrally bright and pure photon-pair source having a small second-order correlation function (0.03) and a raw spectral brightness of 44,700 pairs/(s nm mW). The source can be configured to generate entangled photon-pairs,characterized via optimal and minimal quantum state tomography, to have a fidelity of 97% and tangle of 92%, without subtracting any background.

Abstract:
We experimentally map the transverse profile of diffraction-limited beams using photon-number-resolving detectors. We observe strong compression of diffracted beam profiles for high detected photon number. This effect leads to higher contrast than a conventional irradiance profile between two Airy disk-beams separated by the Rayleigh criterion.

Abstract:
Many quantum computation and communication schemes require, or would significantly benefit from, true sources of single photon on-demand (SPOD). Unfortunately, such sources do not exist. It is becoming increasingly clear that coupling photons out of a SPOD source will be a limiting factor in many SPOD implementations. In particular, coupling these source outputs into optical fibers (usually single mode fibers) is often the preferred method for handling this light. We investigate the practical limits to this coupling as relates to parametric downconversion, an important starting point for many SPOD schemes. We also explored whether it is possible to optimize the engineering of the downconversion sources to improve on this coupling. We present our latest results in this area.

Abstract:
With photon-number resolving detectors, we show compression of interference fringes with increasing photon numbers for a Fabry-Perot interferometer. This feature provides a higher precision in determining the position of the interference maxima compared to a classical detection strategy. We also theoretically show supersensitivity if N-photon states are sent into the interferometer and a photon-number resolving measurement is performed.

Abstract:
We demonstrate and characterize interference between discrete photons emitted by two separate semiconductor quantum dot states in different samples excited by a pulsed laser. Their energies are tuned into resonance using strain. The photons have a total coalescence probability of 18.1% and the coincidence rate is below the classical limit. Post-selection of coincidences within a narrow time window increases the coalescence probability to 47%. The probabilities are reduced from unity because of dephasing and the postselection value is also reduced by the detector time response.

Abstract:
We present the first experimental test that distinguishes between an event-based corpuscular model (EBCM) [H. De Raedt et al.: J. Comput. Theor. Nanosci. 8 (2011) 1052] of the interaction of photons with matter and quantum mechanics. The test looks at the interference that results as a single photon passes through a Mach-Zehnder interferometer [H. De Raedt et al.: J. Phys. Soc. Jpn. 74 (2005) 16]. The experimental results, obtained with a low-noise single-photon source [G. Brida et al.: Opt. Expr. 19 (2011) 1484], agree with the predictions of standard quantum mechanics with a reduced $\chi^2$ of 0.98 and falsify the EBCM with a reduced $\chi^2$ of greater than 20.

Abstract:
We investigate the coupling efficiency of parametric downconversion light (PDC) into single and multi-mode optical fibers as a function of the pump beam diameter, crystal length and walk-off. We outline two different theoretical models for the preparation and collection of either single-mode or multi-mode PDC light (defined by, for instance, multi-mode fibers or apertures, corresponding to bucket detection). Moreover, we define the mode-matching collection efficiency, important for realizing a single-photon source based on PDC output into a well-defined single spatial mode. We also define a multimode collection efficiency that is useful for single-photon detector calibration applications.

Abstract:
Recently a test of nonclassicality for a single qubit was proposed [R. Alicki and N. Van Ryn, J. Phys. A: Math. Theor. 41, 062001 (2008)]. We present an optimized experimental realization of this test leading to a 46 standard deviation violation of classicality. This factor of 5 improvement over our previous result was achieved by moving from the infrared to the visible where we can take advantage of higher efficiency and lower noise photon detectors.

Abstract:
We have created heralded coherent state superpositions (CSS), by subtracting up to three photons from a pulse of squeezed vacuum light. To produce such CSSs at a sufficient rate, we used our high-efficiency photon-number-resolving transition edge sensor to detect the subtracted photons. This is the first experiment enabled by and utilizing the full photon-number-resolving capabilities of this detector. The CSS produced by three-photon subtraction had a mean photon number of 2.75 -0.24/+0.06 and a fidelity of 0.59 -0.14/+0.04 with an ideal CSS. This confirms that subtracting more photons results in higher-amplitude CSSs.

Abstract:
We report efficient generation of correlated photon pairs through degenerate four-wave mixing in microstructure fibers. With 735.7 nm pump pulses producing conjugate signal (688.5 nm) and idler (789.8 nm) photons in a 1.8 m microstructure fiber, we detect photon pairs at a rate of 37.6 kHz with a coincidence/accidental contrast of 10:1 with a full-width-at-half-maximum bandwidth of 0.7 nm. This is the highest rate reported to date in a fiber-based photon source. The nonclassicality of this source, as defined by the Zou-Wang-Mandel inequality, is violated by 1100 times the uncertainty.