Indexed on: 01 Sep '17Published on: 15 Jul '19Published in: arXiv - Quantum Physics
Photons have been a flagship system for studying quantum mechanics, advancing quantum information science, and developing quantum technologies. Quantum entanglement, teleportation, quantum key distribution and early quantum computing demonstrations were pioneered in this technology because photons represent a naturally mobile and low-noise system with quantum-limited detection readily available. The quantum states of individual photons can be manipulated with very high precision using interferometry, an experimental staple that has been under continuous development since the 19th century. The complexity of photonic quantum computing device and protocol realizations has raced ahead as both underlying technologies and theoretical schemes have continued to develop. Today, photonic quantum computing represents an exciting path to medium- and large-scale processing. It promises to out aside its reputation for requiring excessive resource overheads due to inefficient two-qubit gates. Instead, the ability to generate large numbers of photons---and the development of integrated platforms, improved sources and detectors, novel noise-tolerant theoretical approaches, and more---have solidified it as a leading contender for both quantum information processing and quantum networking. Our concise review provides a flyover of some key aspects of the field, with a focus on experiment. Apart from being a short and accessible introduction, its many references to in-depth articles and longer specialist reviews serve as a launching point for deeper study of the field.