Friday, June 28, 2013

1306.6431 (Merlin Cooper et al.)

Quantum state estimation with unknown measurements    [PDF]

Merlin Cooper, Michal Karpinski, Brian J. Smith
Measurements provide quantitative information about nature and are central to scientific and technological advances. Performing reliable measurements requires use of a well-calibrated detector. Detectors used for measuring quantum states are typically characterized by extrapolating the detector response to the quantum domain from its classical behaviour. Such assumptions can introduce systematic errors leading to a consistently inaccurate estimate of the measured quantum state. This can be avoided by calibrating the detector in the quantum domain, which has only recently been demonstrated experimentally for few-outcome detectors. This approach becomes increasingly challenging as the number of detector outcomes grows. Here we present the experimental demonstration of an alternative method for quantum detector characterization and its subsequent use in quantum state estimation. This technique, known as the fitting of data patterns, complements previous approaches by calibrating the detector response over a finite input range and allows characterization of detectors with many outcomes.
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