In order for quantum communications systems to become widely used, it will probably be necessary to develop quantum repeaters that can extend the range of quantum key distribution systems and correct for errors in the transmission of quantum information. Quantum logic gates based on linear optical techniques appear to be a promising approach for the development of quantum repeaters, and they may have applications in quantum computing as well. Here we describe the basic principles of logic gates based on linear optics, along with the results from several experimental demonstrations of devices of this kind. A prototype source of single photons and a quantum memory device for photons are also discussed. These devices can be combined with a four-qubit encoding to implement a quantum repeater.