Scan-free direct measurement of an extremely high-dimensional photonic state

Zhimin Shi, Mohammad Mirhosseini, Jessica Margiewicz, Mehul Malik, Freida Rivera, Ziyi Zhu, Robert W. Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Retrieving the vast amount of information carried by a photon is an enduring challenge in quantum metrology science and quantum photonics research. The transverse spatial state of a photon is a convenient high-dimensional quantum system for study, as it has a well-understood classical analog as the transverse complex field profile of an optical beam. One severe drawback of all currently available quantum metrology techniques is the need for a time-consuming characterization process, which scales very unfavorably with the dimensionality of the quantum system. Here we demonstrate a technique that directly measures a million-dimensional photonic spatial state with a single setting of the measurement apparatus. Through the arrangement of a weak measurement of momentum and parallel strong measurements of position, the complex values of the entire photon state vector become measurable directly. The dimension of our measured state is approximately four orders of magnitude larger than previously measured. Our work opens up a practical route for characterizing high-dimensional quantum systems in real time. Furthermore, our demonstration also serves as a high-speed, extremely high-resolution unambiguous complex field measurement technique for diverse classical applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-392
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Scan-free direct measurement of an extremely high-dimensional photonic state'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this