AdvisorJessen, Poul S.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractA complete description of the quantum state of a physical system is the fundamental knowledge necessary to statistically predict the outcome of measurements. In turning this statement around, Wolfgang Pauli raised already in 1933 the question, whether an unknown quantum state could be uniquely determined by appropriate measurements--a problem that has gained new relevance in recent years. In order to harness the prospects of quantum computing, secure communication, teleportation, and the like, the development of techniques to accurately control and measure quantum states has now become a matter of practical as well as fundamental interest. However, there is no general answer to Pauli's very basic question, and quantum state reconstruction algorithms have been developed and experimentally demonstrated only for a few systems so far. This thesis presents a novel experimental method to measure the unknown and generally mixed quantum state for an angular momentum of arbitrary magnitude. The (2F + 1) x (2F + 1) density matrix describing the quantum state is hereby completely determined from a set of Stern-Gerlach measurements with (4F + 1) different orientations of the quantization axis. This protocol is implemented for laser cooled Cesium atoms in the 6S₁/₂(F = 4) hyperfine ground state manifold, and is applied to a number of test states prepared by optical pumping and Larmor precession. A comparison of the input and the measured states shows successful reconstructions with fidelities of about 0.95.
Degree ProgramGraduate College