The field of Quantum Information has blossomed over the past few years, driven by the prospects to exploit capabilities from the quantum realm to accomplish computation or communication tasks that are difficult or impossible with traditional methods of in formation processing. This still young research area has swept physicists from a great variety of disciplines and is now at the interface between physics, information theory, computer science and engineering. The recent striking demonstrations of quantum key distribution protocols or quantum teleportation has raised huge interest, confirming the great potential of this field and the dramatic impact that quantum processes can have on information technology. The overall objective of this project is thus concerned with this innovative area of quantum communications, with a particular emphasis on the light-atoms interface required to achieve such purposes.
In 2001, a novel approach for long-distance quantum communication was proposed by Duan, Lukin, Cirac and Zoller (DLCZ). This scalable scheme employs atomic ensembles, which can be addressed by laser pulses and single photon detection with not necessary very high efficiency. In the DLCZ protocol, quantum states can be transferred between atoms and photons and stored in atoms for a long time. The abroad phase of the project is mainly concerned by the experimental realization of the DLCZ protocol. During the return phase, the experience gained will be applied in a closely related purpose but in a rather different app roach.
The multidisciplinary aspects of quantum information make this a very exciting area to work in, and they provide an excellent framework for the training of an independent research scientist. In addition to complementary competencies such as research management, this proposal will provide essential trainings in order to master a large and complete array of crucial theoretical and experimental skills for quantum physics.
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