Quantum physics is promising to start a revolution in the way we conceive the treatment of information. Future quantum computers will be able to solve complex problems for which an efficient solution is now difficult to implement. Their construction will require an unprecedent level of accuracy in manipulating quantum systems; quantum properties of light are appealing for this project, both at a “microscopic” regime, adopting single photons, and at a “mesoscopic” regime, employing the quadrature components. It has been proposed that “cat states” of light, i.e. a superposition of almost orthogonal coherent states, can encode qubits; this architecture requires the least overhead resources for fault tolerance among all the proposed optical quantum computation schemes. A key requirement is the ability of generating highly nonclassical states, whose quasi-probability function can assume negative values; earlier demonstrations have shown that such states can be generated by manipulating one- and two-mode squeezed states with a merging of both continuous variable and single photon experimental techniques. This project is devoted to the maturation of this approach, by generating two-mode entanglement of cat states, an essential resource for building quantum gates. For this purpose, we aim to improve the technology allowing the generation of number states and cat states. First, we will achieve a high level of squeezing, in order to manipulate optical fields with a larger degree of nonclassical correlations. Then, we will produce multi-qubits by using multiple squeezers. Finally, we will improve the single photon detections by using photon number resolving detectors. We expect that these innovations will improve the accuracy of state manipulation: the assessment of the usefulness of the novel states will be carried out, The outcomes of the project will be relevant to assess the practical feasibility of cat state quantum computing.
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