This thesis introduces and implements a characterization procedure called coherent state quantum process tomography and applies it to a selection of quantum operations. The procedure holds advantages over previous quantum process tomography methods, a pri- mary one is that a process can be characterized by measuring its effect on a set of coherent states which are readily available from a laser source.
After introduction of the characterization procedure, the method is tested on a simple process of an electro-optical modulator and polarizing beam splitter. The accuracy of the characterization is verified by comparison of the predicted action of the reconstructed process tensor versus the actual experiment involving a squeezed vacuum state. The algorithm is then implemented and verified on a quantum memory system based on electromagnetically induced transparency, a system that was previously shown capable of storing a squeezed vacuum state.
Lastly, a new optical storage system based on a gradient echo memory scheme is con- structed and optimized to achieve memory retrieval efficiencies of >80%. To characterize this system, a modified coherent state quantum process tomography algorithm based on the method of maximum likelihood estimation is employed. Despite the high efficiency values, the presence of excess noise resulted in the degradation of the storage device per- formance to be below the benchmarks of a quantum memory system. This estimation algorithm is also successfully implemented on the non-deterministic processes of photon creation and annihilation.