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Quantum entanglement, a phenomenon in which the behavior of one particle is somehow immediately correlated with and informed by what is happening to a partner particle a long distance away, has been a pivotal part of the formulation of quantum theory as we know it today and is currently generating many promising avenues of research. As such, finding ways to reliably and inexpensively generate systems of entangled particles for research purposes has become crucial. For my project, I attempt to set up a system that generates energy- and polarization-entangled photons via a technique called spontaneous parametric down conversion. This method for generating entangled particles involves shooting a laser beam at a special type of nonlinear crystal. Most of the photons in the beam pass right through the crystal, but some are absorbed by it. An absorbed photon’s energy excites the crystal, which then releases that energy by emitting a pair of entangled photons. This occurs tens of thousands of times per second to create two streams of photons where each photon in one beam has an energy-entangled partner in the other. These photons can then be manipulated and employed in experimental examinations of a variety of quantum optical phenomena.
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Kaelbling, Logan P., "Production of Entangled Photons via Spontaneous Parametric Down-Conversion" (2020). Senior Projects Spring 2020. 123.
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