The spatial modes of photons are one realization of a QuDit, a quantum system that is described in a D-dimensional Hilbert space. In order to perform quantum information tasks with QuDits, a general class of D-dimensional unitary transformations is needed. Among these, cyclic transformations are an important special case required in many high-dimensional quantum communication protocols. In this paper, we experimentally demonstrate a cyclic transformation in the high-dimensional space of photonic orbital angular momentum (OAM). Using simple linear optical components, we show a successful four-fold cyclic transformation of OAM modes. Interestingly, our experimental setup was found by a computer algorithm. In addition to the four-cyclic transformation, the algorithm also found extensions to higher-dimensional cycles in a hybrid space of OAM and polarization. Besides being useful for quantum cryptography with QuDits, cyclic transformations are key for the experimental production of high-dimensional maximally entangled Bell-states.
|Journal||New Journal of Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 14 Apr 2016|