Optical vortex knots - one photon at a time.
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The particle-wave duality of light should also apply to complex three dimensional optical fields formed by multi-path interference, however, this has not been demonstrated.Here we observe particle-wave duality of a three dimensional field by generating a trefoil optical vortex knot - one photon at a time.This result demonstrates a fundamental physical principle, that particle-wave duality implies interference in both space (between spatially distinct modes) and time (through the complex evolution of the superposition of modes), and has implications for topologically entangled single photon states, orbital angular momentum multiplexing and topological quantum computing.
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PubMed Central - PubMed
Affiliation: School of Physics and Astronomy, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia.
ABSTRACT
Feynman described the double slit experiment as "a phenomenon which is impossible, absolutely impossible, to explain in any classical way and which has in it the heart of quantum mechanics". The double-slit experiment, performed one photon at a time, dramatically demonstrates the particle-wave duality of quantum objects by generating a fringe pattern corresponding to the interference of light (a wave phenomenon) from two slits, even when there is only one photon (a particle) at a time passing through the apparatus. The particle-wave duality of light should also apply to complex three dimensional optical fields formed by multi-path interference, however, this has not been demonstrated. Here we observe particle-wave duality of a three dimensional field by generating a trefoil optical vortex knot - one photon at a time. This result demonstrates a fundamental physical principle, that particle-wave duality implies interference in both space (between spatially distinct modes) and time (through the complex evolution of the superposition of modes), and has implications for topologically entangled single photon states, orbital angular momentum multiplexing and topological quantum computing. No MeSH data available. Related in: MedlinePlus |
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Mentions: We further verified that the distribution of single photons produces the knotted nodal structure via a ‘which path’ measurement. The optical set up used for this measurement, shown on the left in Fig. 3, involves splitting the optical path at the SLM so that each path only passes through one half of the SLM screen. This path separation allows a chopper wheel to be inserted just after the SLM, which at any given time blocks one of the two paths. |
View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed
Affiliation: School of Physics and Astronomy, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia.
No MeSH data available.