Researchers visualize quantum Yin-Yang for the first time

H Hannan

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Scientists at the University of Ottawa, collaborating with Italian researchers, have demonstrated a new technique to image the wave function of entangled photon pairs in real-time. This overcomes the limitations of traditional quantum state detection methods.

The wavefunction encodes the quantum state of particles. Rapidly determining photonic wavefunctions could accelerate quantum computing, communication, and imaging applications.

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Standard quantum tomography slowly reconstructs states from many individual measurements. The new technique leverages concepts from classical holography to interference-based imaging.

It superimposes the quantum state with a reference beam and then records the spatial photon coincidence pattern. This single-shot interferogram contains sufficient information to reconstruct amplitude and phase distributions.

The advanced camera used can pinpoint photon arrival positions on nanosecond timescales across pixels. From these massive datasets, the unknown wave function is rapidly computed.

Lead researcher Professor Ebrahim Karimi notes this is exponentially faster than previous techniques, needing only minutes versus days. It also avoids complexity-induced slowdowns plaguing existing methods.

The real-time wavefunction visualization technique has immediate applications in state characterization, quantum communication, quantum sensing, and more. It removes a major bottleneck holding back photonic quantum technologies.

In summary, by adapting holographic concepts, the University of Ottawa researchers achieved rapid quantum wavefunction measurement. This breakthrough could accelerate many applications dependent on understanding complex quantum states.

Find out more:

Danilo Zia et al, Interferometric imaging of amplitude and phase of spatial biphoton states, Nature Photonics (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41566-023-01272-3

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