Quantum entanglement of angular momentum states with quantum numbers up to 10010

Author(s): R. Fickler, G. T. Campbell, B. C. Buchler, P. K. Lam, A. Zeilinger

Journal: PNAS

Volume: 113

Page(s): 13642-13647

Year: 2016

DOI Number: 10.1073/pnas.1616889113

Link: Link to publication


Photons with a twisted phase front carry a quantized amount of orbital angular momentum (OAM) and have become important in various fields of optics, such as quantum and classical information science or optical tweezers. Because no upper limit on the OAM content per photon is known, they are also interesting systems to experimentally challenge quantum mechanical prediction for high quantum numbers. Here, we take advantage of a recently developed technique to imprint unprecedented high values of OAM, namely spiral phase mirrors (SPM), to generate photons with more than 10,000 quanta of OAM. Moreover, we demonstrate quantum entanglement between these large OAM quanta of one photon and the polarization of its partner photon. To our knowledge, this corresponds to entanglement with the largest quantum number that has been demonstrated in an experiment. The results may also open novel ways to couple single photons to massive objects, enhance angular resolution and highlight OAM as a promising way to increase the information capacity of a single photon.

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