Spontaneous Parametric Down-Conversion and Quantum Entanglement

Jesse Catalano, Portland State University

An undergraduate honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Science in University Honors and Physics

Due to a missing equation, this thesis has been placed under a temporary embargo. It will be reinstated when the equation has been inserted.


Quantum entanglement has been a topic of much research in modern physics, and an application in quantum computing is envisioned. This thesis address the use of polarization entangled photon pairs produced by spontaneous parametric down-conversion (SPDC) in entanglement transfer process and quantum computing. The simplicity of SPDC entanglement relative to other quantum phenomena is first emphasized by developing a complete classical theory of the photon-crystal interactions characteristic of SPDC. The methods of achieving polarization superposition via the Type-I and Type-II SPDC are described. A combination of superposition and polarization correlation between down-converted photons is shown to violate Bell’s inequality, thus revealing the entangled nature of the photon pairs. Finally, the possibility of controlling entangled photons through the manipulation of surface plasmons is highlighted as a way to transfer entanglement from photons to material particles.