Experimental creation of superposition of unknown photonic quantum states

18 May 2016  ·  Hu Xiao-Min, Hu Meng-Jun, Chen Jiang-Shan, Liu Bi-Heng, Huang Yun-Feng, Li Chuan-Feng, Guo Guang-Can, Zhang Yong-Sheng ·

As one of the most intriguing intrinsic properties of quantum world, quantum superposition provokes great interests in its own generation. Oszmaniec [Phys... Rev. Lett. 116, 110403 (2016)] have proven that though a universal quantum machine that creates superposition of arbitrary two unknown states is physically impossible, a probabilistic protocol exists in the case of two input states have nonzero overlaps with the referential state. Here we report a heralded quantum machine realizing superposition of arbitrary two unknown photonic qubits as long as they have nonzero overlaps with the horizontal polarization state $|H\rangle$. A total of 11 different qubit pairs are chosen to test this protocol by comparing the reconstructed output state with theoretical expected superposition of input states. We obtain the average fidelity as high as 0.99, which shows the excellent reliability of our realization. This realization not only deepens our understanding of quantum superposition but also has significant applications in quantum information and quantum computation, e.g., generating non-classical states in the context of quantum optics and realizing information compression by coherent superposition of results of independent runs of subroutines in a quantum computation. read more

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Quantum Physics