Humanity’s reliance on the rapid and free flow of information cannot be understated. Over the last two decades, control over the spectral, temporal, and spatial structure of light has led to a massive increase in optical data transfer rates via signal multiplexing. For example, the simultaneous encoding of information in 84,236 spatial and frequency channels was recently used for achieving a record 10 Petabit/sec data transmission rate. As quantum technologies mature, so will the needs of a quantum infrastructure that relies on the efficient and noise-robust transfer of information. Precise control over the photonic degrees of freedom (DOFs) of space, time, and frequency offer the potential to enable similar breakthroughs for the fields of quantum communication and networking, and in parallel unlock key functionalities for quantum imaging and sensing with light.
PIQUaNT will develop methods for the coherent control and measurement of the high-dimensional position-momentum and time-frequency DOFs of a photon, and drive forward the creation of techniques for combating sources of noise that inhibit the long-distance transfer of multi-mode quantum information. PIQUaNT will in turn apply these techniques in demonstrations of noise-resilient, high-capacity entanglement distribution in multiple photonic DOFs over commercially available multi-mode and multi-core fibres. Through the realisation of a prototype entanglement-based high-dimensional quantum communications network, PIQUaNT will serve as a blueprint for the future development of noise-robust quantum information networks that saturate the information carrying capacity of a photon.
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