Realization of the universal-NOT gate and of the universal quantum cloning



An arbitrary quantum state cannot be “cloned” perfectly, i.e. reproduced with “fidelity” F = 1 into M > 1 states identical to the original by any conceivable physical device. The main root of this impossibility resides in the linearity of quantum mechanics. A second “quantum impossibility” process, based on the complete positivity character of any quantum operation and conceivably subtly related to the first one, forbids the realization of a universal NOT gate i.e. one that flips exactly any input qubit into an orthogonal one. A detailed investigation of these results, representing the most fundamental difference between classical and quantum information, indeed can reveal the detailed structure of the latter one. We report an experimental demonstration of the process of cloning of N = 1 input qubit into M = 2 output qubits by a quantum-injected optical parametric amplifier OPA. By the same apparatus the realization of a universal NOT gate is also demonstrated. The two processes will be found to be “universal” and optimal, i.e. the measured fidelity of both processes F < 1 will be found close to the theoretical values.