3 years ago

Two-dimensional topological quantum walks in the momentum space of structured light.

Alessio D'errico, Filippo Cardano, Maria Maffei, Alexandre Dauphin, Raouf Barboza, Chiara Esposito, Bruno Piccirillo, Maciej Lewenstein, Pietro Massignan, Lorenzo Marrucci

Quantum walks are powerful tools for building quantum algorithms, modelling transport phenomena, and designing topological systems. Here we present a photonic implementation of a quantum walk in two spatial dimensions, where the lattice of walker positions is encoded in the transverse-wavevector components of a paraxial light beam. The desired quantum dynamics is obtained by means of a sequence of liquid-crystal devices ("g-plates"), which apply polarization-dependent transverse kicks to the photons in the beam. We first characterize our setup, and then benchmark it by implementing a periodically-driven Chern insulator and probing its topological features. Our platform is compact, versatile and cost-effective: most evolution parameters are controlled dynamically, the walker distribution is detected in a single shot, and the input state can be tailored at will. These features offer exciting prospects for the photonic simulation of two-dimensional quantum systems.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1811.04001

DOI: arXiv:1811.04001v2

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