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Quantum entanglement of the spatial modes of light

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Publication Date
Keywords
  • Qc Physics
Disciplines
  • Design
  • Physics

Abstract

This thesis is a dissemination of the experimental work I have carried out in the last three and a half years, under supervision of Prof. Miles Padgett and Dr. Sonja Franke-Arnold. Presented within are seven unique experiments investigating the orbital angular momentum (OAM) states of light, and the associated spatial modes. Six of these experiments relate to measurements on quantum-entangled photon pairs produced in down-conversion. The first chapter of my thesis is a brief review of the some of the contributions made to the field of research of OAM, both involving classical and quantum states of light. This chapter introduces some of the hallmark experiments within the subject, from which my experimental work reported in this thesis is inspired. The second chapter details the set up of the down conversion experiment, and the experimental techniques used to design a fully functioning quantum measurement system. Most importantly, this includes the holographic techniques used to measure the spatial states of the photon pairs. In addition to holographic measurements, a system to holographically auto-align the down-conversion experiment was developed. Due to the sensitive nature of the experiments presented, this automated system has been crucial to the success of all of the single photon experiments presented within this document. The experimental results are split into three separate categories. The first (Chapter 3) describes measurements investigating the Fourier relationship between OAM and angular position states, both at the classical and quantum levels. The following chapter (Chapter 4) consists of four experiments designed to quantify the degree of entanglement of states of OAM and angular position. This includes the first demonstration of the historic EPR (Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen) paradox for OAM and angle states, violation of a Bell-type inequality for arbitrary OAM states, and characterisation of the density matrices for a range of OAM state-spaces. The final chapter (Chapter 5) reports a new type of ghost imaging using down-converted photon pairs. In this experiment, we violate a Bell inequality within a ghost image, demonstrating the entangled nature of our system and contributing a new element to the long standing contention over quantum vs. classical features within ghost imaging. These experiments have seen a wide range of collaboration. The experimental work on the Fourier relation on single photons was carried out in collaboration with Dr. Anand Kumar Jha (University of Rochester). The work on ghost imaging was performed with collaboration with Prof. Monika Ritsch-Marte (Innsbruck Medical University), and the angular EPR paradox work was carried out in collaboration with Prof. Robert Boyd (Univ. of Rochester) and Prof. David Ireland (Univ. of Glasgow). The work I present here is experimental, however any theoretical developments are in a large part due to the support of Dr. Sonja Franke-Arnold and Prof. Steve Barnett (Univ. of Strathclyde).

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