La Rivista del Nuovo Cimento

Year 2014 - Issue 5 - May

Quantum imaging technologies

Authors: M. Malik, R. W. Boyd
DOI: 10.1393/ncr/i2014-10100-0
pp. 273-332
Published online 6 June 2014
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Abstract: Over the past three decades, quantum mechanics has allowed the development of technologies that provide unconditionally secure communication. In parallel, the quantum nature of the transverse electromagnetic field has spawned the field of quantum imaging that encompasses technologies such as quantum lithography, quantum ghost imaging, and high-dimensional quantum key distribution (QKD). The emergence of such quantum technologies also highlights the need for the development of accurate and efficient methods of measuring and characterizing the elusive quantum state itself. In this paper, we describe new technologies that use the quantum properties of light for security. The first of these is a technique that extends the principles behind QKD to the field of imaging and optical ranging. By applying the polarization-based BB84 protocol to individual photons in an active imaging system, we obtained images that are secure against any intercept-resend jamming attacks. The second technology presented in this article is based on an extension of quantum ghost imaging, a technique that uses position-momentum entangled photons to create an image of an object without directly obtaining any spatial information from it. We used a holographic filtering technique to build a quantum ghost image identification system that uses a few pairs of photons to identify an object from a set of known objects. The third technology addressed in this document is a high-dimensional QKD system that uses orbital-angular-momentum (OAM) modes of light for encoding. Moving to a high-dimensional state space in QKD allows one to impress more information on each photon, as well as introduce higher levels of security. We discuss the development of two OAM-QKD protocols based on the BB84 and Ekert protocols of QKD. The fourth and final technology presented in this article is a relatively new technique called direct measurement that uses sequential weak and strong measurements to characterize a quantum state. We use this technique to characterize the quantum state of a photon with a dimensionality of $d= 27$, and measure its rotation in the natural basis of OAM.