Abstract:
As currently implemented, single-photon sources cannot be made to produce single photons with high probability, while simultaneously suppressing the probability of yielding two or more photons. Because of this, single photon sources cannot really produce single photons on demand. We describe a multiplexed system that allows the probabilities of producing one and more photons to be adjusted independently, enabling a much better approximation of a source of single photons on demand. The scheme uses a heralded photon source based on parametric downconversion, but by effectively breaking the trigger detector area into multiple regions, we are able to extract more information about a heralded photon than is possible with a conventional arrangement. This scheme allows photons to be produced along with a quantitative ``certification'' that they are single photons. Some of the single-photon certifications can be significantly better than what is possible with conventional downconversion sources (using a unified trigger detector region), as well as being better than faint laser sources. With such a source of more tightly certified single photons, it should be possible to improve the maximum secure bit rate possible over a quantum cryptographic link. We present an analysis of the relative merits of this method over the conventional arrangement.

Abstract:
As typically implemented, single photon sources cannot be made to produce single photons with high probability, while simultaneously suppressing the probability of yielding two or more photons. Because of this, single photon sources cannot really produce single photons on demand. We describe a multiplexed system that allows the probabilities of producing one and more photons to be adjusted independently, enabling a much better approximation of a source of single photons on demand.

Abstract:
The promise of tremendous computational power, coupled with the development of robust error-correcting schemes, has fuelled extensive efforts to build a quantum computer. The requirements for realizing such a device are confounding: scalable quantum bits (two-level quantum systems, or qubits) that can be well isolated from the environment, but also initialized, measured and made to undergo controllable interactions to implement a universal set of quantum logic gates. The usual set consists of single qubit rotations and a controlled-NOT (CNOT) gate, which flips the state of a target qubit conditional on the control qubit being in the state 1. Here we report an unambiguous experimental demonstration and comprehensive characterization of quantum CNOT operation in an optical system. We produce all four entangled Bell states as a function of only the input qubits' logical values, for a single operating condition of the gate. The gate is probabilistic (the qubits are destroyed upon failure), but with the addition of linear optical quantum non-demolition measurements, it is equivalent to the CNOT gate required for scalable all-optical quantum computation.

Abstract:
Complete and precise characterization of a quantum dynamical process can be achieved via the method of quantum process tomography. Using a source of correlated photons, we have implemented several methods investigating a wide range of processes, e.g., unitary, decohering, and polarizing. One of these methods, ancilla-assisted process tomography (AAPT), makes use of an additional ``ancilla system,'' and we have theoretically determined the conditions when AAPT is possible. All prior schemes for AAPT make use of entangled states. Our results show that, surprisingly, entanglement is not required for AAPT, and we present process tomography data obtained using an input state that has no entanglement. However, the use of entanglement yields superior results.

Abstract:
Two methods for creating arbitrary two-photon polarization pure states are introduced. Based on these, four schemes for creating two-photon polarization mixed states are proposed and analyzed. The first two schemes can synthesize completely arbitrary two-qubit mixed states, i.e., control all 15 free parameters: Scheme I requires several sets of crystals, while Scheme II requires only a single set, but relies on decohering the pump beam. Additionally, we describe two further schemes which are much easier to implement. Although the total capability of these is still being studied, we show that they can synthesize all two-qubit Werner states, maximally entangled mixed states, Collins-Gisin states, and arbitrary Bell-diagonal states.

Abstract:
Background The speed and accuracy of decision-making have a well-known trading relationship: hasty decisions are more prone to errors while careful, accurate judgments take more time. Despite the pervasiveness of this speed-accuracy trade-off (SAT) in decision-making, its neural basis is still unknown. Methodology/Principal Findings Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) we show that emphasizing the speed of a perceptual decision at the expense of its accuracy lowers the amount of evidence-related activity in lateral prefrontal cortex. Moreover, this speed-accuracy difference in lateral prefrontal cortex activity correlates with the speed-accuracy difference in the decision criterion metric of signal detection theory. We also show that the same instructions increase baseline activity in a dorso-medial cortical area involved in the internal generation of actions. Conclusions/Significance These findings suggest that the SAT is neurally implemented by modulating not only the amount of externally-derived sensory evidence used to make a decision, but also the internal urge to make a response. We propose that these processes combine to control the temporal dynamics of the speed-accuracy trade-off in decision-making.

Abstract:
Libraries are evolving and always thinking of new and creative ways to reach customers. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh devised a new initiative called the Library in Your Neighborhood, Community and School (LYNCS), and its first product was a new library service point located in the indoor Pittsburgh Public Market (PPM). The library service point was planned and launched in approximately four months after a unique collaboration with the nearby MLIS students at the University of Pittsburgh. The CLP-LYNCS: PPM was the first of its kind in Southwestern Pennsylvania. With its unique hours, it serves weekend patrons in a bustling Pittsburgh neighborhood that attracts users from all over the county.

Abstract:
We present the theoretical basis for and experimental verification of arbitrary single-qubit state generation, using the polarization of photons generated via spontaneous parametric downconversion. Our precision measurement and state reconstruction system has the capability to distinguish over 3 million states, all of which can be reproducibly generated using our state creation apparatus. In order to complete the triumvirate of single qubit control, there must be a way to not only manipulate single qubits after creation and before measurement, but a way to characterize the manipulations \emph{themselves}. We present a general representation of arbitrary processes, and experimental techniques for generating a variety of single qubit manipulations, including unitary, decohering, and (partially) polarizing operations.

Abstract:
Using a spontaneous parametric-downconversion source of photon pairs, we are working towards the creation of arbitrary 2-qubit quantum states with high fidelity. Currently, all physically allowable combinations of polarization entanglement and mixture can be produced, including maximally-entangled mixed states. The states are experimentally measured and refined via computer-automated quantum-state tomography, and this system has also been used to perform single-qubit and ancilla-assisted quantum process tomography.

Abstract:
Geometric phase may enable inherently fault-tolerant quantum computation. However, due to potential decoherence effects, it is important to understand how such phases arise for {\it mixed} input states. We report the first experiment to measure mixed-state geometric phases in optics, using a Mach-Zehnder interferometer, and polarization mixed states that are produced in two different ways: decohering pure states with birefringent elements; and producing a nonmaximally entangled state of two photons and tracing over one of them, a form of remote state preparation.