Abstract:
We report the observation of beatings of the coincidence event rate in a Hong-Ou-Mandel interference (HOMI) between signal and idler photons from a parametric downconversion (PDC) process inside a multi-mode KTP waveguide. As explanation we introduce bi-photonic states entangled in their broadband frequency modes generated by waveguide mode triples and propose a suitable entanglement detection scheme.

Abstract:
We analyze the generation rates and preparation fidelities of photon triplet states in pulsed cascaded parametric down-conversion (PDC) under realistic experimental circumstances. As a model system, we assume a monolithically integrated device with negligible interface loss between the two consecutive PDC stages. We model the secondary down-conversion process in terms of a lossy channel and provide a detailed analysis of noise contributions. Taking variable pump powers into account, we estimate the impact of higher-order photon contributions and conversion processes on the achievable coincidence probabilities. At mean photon numbers of $\langle m\rangle\sim0.25$ photons per pulse behind the first PDC stage, we expect around $4.0$ genuine photon triplets per hour. Additionally, we discuss fundamental limitations of our model system as well as feasible improvements to the detectable photon triplet rate.

Abstract:
We propose a quantum key distribution scheme which closely matches the performance of a perfect single photon source. It nearly attains the physical upper bound in terms of key generation rate and maximally achievable distance. Our scheme relies on a practical setup based on a parametric downconversion source and present-day, non-ideal photon-number detection. Arbitrary experimental imperfections which lead to bit errors are included. We select decoy states by classical post-processing. This allows to improve the effective signal statistics and achievable distance.

Abstract:
Quantum key distribution is among the foremost applications of quantum mechanics, both in terms of fundamental physics and as a technology on the brink of commercial deployment. Starting from principal schemes and initial proofs of unconditional security for perfect systems, much effort has gone into providing secure schemes which can cope with numerous experimental imperfections unavoidable in real world implementations. In this paper, we provide a comparison of various schemes and protocols. We analyse their efficiency and performance when implemented with imperfect physical components. We consider how experimental faults are accounted for using effective parameters. We compare various protocols and provide guidelines as to which components propose best advances when being improved.

Abstract:
We analyse the distribution of secure keys using quantum cryptography based on the continuous variable degree of freedom of entangled photon pairs. We derive the information capacity of a scheme based on the spatial entanglement of photons from a realistic source, and show that the standard measures of security known for quadrature-based continuous variable quantum cryptography (CV-QKD) are inadequate. A specific simple eavesdropping attack is analysed to illuminate how secret information may be distilled well beyond the bounds of the usual CV-QKD measures.

Abstract:
Observables of quantum systems can posses either a discrete or a continuous spectrum. For example, upon measurements of the photon number of a light state, discrete outcomes will result whereas measurements of the light's quadrature amplitudes result in continuous outcomes. If one uses the continuous degree of freedom of a quantum system either for encoding, processing or detecting information, one enters the field of continuous variable (CV) quantum information processing. In this paper we review the basic principles of CV quantum information processing with main focus on recent developments in the field. We will be addressing the three main stages of a quantum informational system; the preparation stage where quantum information is encoded into CVs of coherent states and single photon states, the processing stage where CV information is manipulated to carry out a specified protocol and a detection stage where CV information is measured using homodyne detection or photon counting.

Abstract:
We experimentally investigate a method of directly characterizing the photon number distribution of nonclassical light beams that is tolerant to losses and makes use only of standard binary detectors. This is achieved in a single measurement by calibrating the detector using some small amount of prior information about the source. We demonstrate the technique on a freely propagating heralded two-photon number state created by conditional detection of a two-mode squeezed state generated by a parametric downconverter.

Abstract:
Every security analysis of quantum key distribution (QKD) relies on a faithful modeling of the employed quantum states. Many photon sources, like for instance a parametric down conversion (PDC) source, require a multi-mode description, but are usually only considered in a single-mode representation. In general, the important claim in decoy-based QKD protocols for indistinguishability between signal and decoy states does not hold for all sources. We derive new bounds on the single photon transmission probability and error rate for multi-mode states, and apply these bounds to the output state of a PDC source. We observe two opposing effects on the secure key rate. First, the multi-mode structure of the state gives rise to a new attack that decreases the key rate. Second, more contributing modes change the photon number distribution from a thermal towards a Poissonian distribution, which increases the key rate.

Abstract:
We introduce the concept of a quantum pulse gate (QPG), a method for accessing the intrinsic broadband spectral mode structure of ultrafast quantum states of light. This mode structure can now be harnessed for applications in quantum information processing. We propose an implementation in a PPLN waveguide, based on spectrally engineered sum frequency generation (SFG). It allows us to pick well-defined spectral broadband modes from an ultrafast multi-mode state for interconversion to a broadband mode at another frequency. By pulse-shaping the bright SFG pump beam, different orthogonal broadband modes can be addressed individually and extracted with near unit efficiency.

Abstract:
We demonstrate a method to determine the spectral purity of single photons. The technique is based on the Hong-Ou-Mandel (HOM) interference between a single photon state and a suitably prepared coherent field. We show that the temporal width of the HOM dip is not only related to reciprocal of the spectral width but also to the underlying quantum coherence. Therefore, by measuring the width of both the HOM dip and the spectrum one can directly quantify the degree of spectral purity. The distinct advantage of our proposal is that it obviates the need for perfect mode matching, since it does not rely on the visibility of the interference. Our method is particularly useful for characterizing the purity of heralded single photon states.