Structured light allows communication with infinite Photonic alphabet

Illustration shows the creation of hybrid interlaced photons combining polarization with a twisted light pattern that carries orbital angular momentum . This structured light allows you to use quantum protocols to create a larger coding alphabet, more security and better noise resistance.

Structured light

The creation of Structured Light beams - light in exotic patterns such as spirals - not only revealed a strange new world of light, but also opened new fields of technological exploration for photonics .

And it seems that these application possibilities have not even been scratched.

Two South African researchers have already shown that it is possible to exploit helical beams of light to create an alphabet, which promises not only greater security and robustness in communications, but also a new way to explore the physics behind quantum computers. .

"What we really want is to do quantum mechanics with light patterns. By that we mean that light comes in a variety of patterns that can be differentiated - like our faces," explained Andrew Forbes of the University of Witwatersrand.

Since light patterns can be distinguished from each other, they can be used as an alphabet form. "The cool thing is that there is, at least in principle, an infinite set of patterns, so an infinite alphabet is available," said Forbes.

Different patterns of structured light - the "letters" of the infinite photonic alphabet.

Multidimensional States

Traditionally, quantum protocols have been implemented with light bias, which has only two values, which means a maximum photon information capacity of just 1 bit - remembering that one bit per photon is already incredibly better than the floods of light. electrons used today. Using structured light patterns as an alphabet, in turn, the information capacity is much greater, not to mention the gains in safety and noise resistance.

"Light patterns are a path to what we call large states," continues Forbes. "They are large because many standards are involved in the quantum process. Unfortunately, the toolkit for managing these patterns is still underdeveloped and requires a lot of work."

That's why he and his colleague Isaac Nape began working with hybrid states, which combine the traditional use of polarization with structured modes of light.

"It turns out that many protocols can be implemented efficiently with simpler tools, combining polarized patterns for the best of both worlds," said Forbes. "Instead of two pattern dimensions, hybrid states allow access to multidimensional states, for example an infinite set of two-dimensional systems. This seems to be a promising way to truly make a quantum lattice based on light patterns come true."


Article: Quantum mechanics with patterns of light: Progress in high dimensional and multidimensional entanglement with structured light

Authors: Andrew Forbes, Isaac Nape

Magazine: AVS Quantum Science

DOI: 10.1116 / 1.5112027

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