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Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory | U of I

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Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory
208 North Wright Street Urbana, Illinois 61801


Office hours 8:30a - 5:00p


Phone: 217-333-3097
Fax: 217-244-6375


Paul G. Kwiat

Paul G. Kwiat

337B Loomis Laboratory, MC-MC 704
1110 W. Green St.
Urbana, Illinois 61801
(217) 333-9116
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Ph.D., Physics, University of California, Berkeley, 1993

Research Statement:
spatial emission directions of entangled photons produced from a downconversion crystalQuantum Optics and Quantum Information — In our quantum optics lab, we use photons to investigate a range of topics from foundations of quantum mechanics (such as tests of nonlocality, the quantum Zeno effect, and so forth) to quantum cryptography (enabling for the first time provable unconditional security), communication (including "teleportation"), and computation (investigating simple quantum logic, algorithms, and decoherence-defeating measures). We have developed methods to produce pairs of photons that share the most mysterious of all quantum properties -- entanglement. The goal now is to improve these systems, to explore uncharted waters of novel quantum mechanical states, and to learn to use them to advantage in all areas of information processing.
Photonic Quantum Information Systems — Our goal is to develop the following optical quantum technologies for quantum information processing (including computation, cryptography, and metrology), and apply them to critical problems in these areas: Entangled-photon sources and characterization, quantum state transducer, photon storage and quantum memory, periodic single photon source, and photon number-resolving solid-state photomultipliers (SSPMs). These are central resources for many quantum communication applications.
Hyper-entanglement for Advanced Quantum Communication — Hyper-entanglement — the property that quantum systems, photons in our case, may be simultaneously entangled in multiple degrees of freedom — promises to enhance the capabilities of current quantum communication protocols, and to enable new ones.  We will extend  our experience in the creation, manipulation and characterization of hyper-entanglement in the photon pairs produced via spontaneous parametric down-conversion, and employ them for several relevant advanced quantum communication applications: quantum super-dense coding, production and application of bound entanglement, optimized teleportation beyond single qubits, and entanglement-enhanced quantum fingerprinting. Our research in these areas will substantially increase understanding of the benefits — and limitations — of using hyper-entanglement for quantum information processing, extending the capabilities of current communication protocols, and enabling new ones.
Optical Quantum Computing — Quantum computing uses the unique quantum properties of small systems to enable exponential computational speedups for certain classes of problems. Simple gates have been realized in several systems; the cleanest of these have been using photons as the quantum bits ("qubits"). Now we are investigating the feasibility of transitioning these small scall results to a much larger system, eventually capable of performing universal computations. We are exploring two approaches in detail. The first uses the newly devised "cluster" state paradigm, thereby reducing resoures requirements by several orders of magnitude. The second approach, relying on weak nonlinear effects, reduces the resource requirements even further.
Research Interests:
Ph.D. thesis title: Nonclassical Effects from Spontaneous Parametric Downconversion
Undergraduate Research Opportunities:
I routinely have talented undergraduates working in my group. They typically begin assisting with ongoing projects before taking responsibility for their own research project. Much of the research has resulted in published papers, with the students as co-authors.
For more information:
Kwiat Research Group

Honors, Recognition, and Outstanding Achievements:

  • APS Outstanding Referee Award 2008 (2009)

Honors, Recognition, and Outstanding Achievements for Teaching:

  • Doug and Judy Davis Award for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics (2013-2014)
  • Department of Education Fellowship (1989 - 1991)
  • Outstanding Graduate Instructor Award (1988)

Honors, Recognition, and Outstanding Achievements for Research:

  • Optical Society of America R. W. Wood Prize (2009)
  • Young Scholar Award (3rd place), Amazing Light competition (2005)
  • Fellow, Optical Society of America (2005)
  • J. David Murley Milestone Award for Outstanding Achievements in Quantum Cryptography (2004)
  • Descartes Prize (2004)
  • Fellow, American Physical Society (2002)
  • Bardeen Chair, Dept. of Physics, Univ. of Illinois (2001-present)
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellows Prize (1999)
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellows Prize for his work on optical studies of quantum information (1998)
  • J. R. Oppenheimer Postdoctoral Fellowship (1995 - 1998)
  • Lise-Meitner Postdoctoral Fellowship (1993 - 1995)
  • Sigma Pi Sigma (1987)
  • Sigma Xi (1987)

Honors, Recognition, and Outstanding Achievements for Public Service:

  • Executive committee for the National Science Olympiad (2005 and 2010)