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Title: High-dimensional encryption in optical fibers using spatial modes of light and machine learning
Abstract The ability to engineer the spatial wavefunction of photons has enabled a variety of quantum protocols for communication, sensing, and information processing. These protocols exploit the high dimensionality of structured light enabling the encoding of multiple bits of information in a single photon, the measurement of small physical parameters, and the achievement of unprecedented levels of security in schemes for cryptography. Unfortunately, the potential of structured light has been restrained to free-space platforms in which the spatial profile of photons is preserved. Here, we make an important step forward to using structured light for fiber optical communication. We introduce a classical encryption protocol in which the propagation of high-dimensional spatial modes in multimode fibers is used as a natural mechanism for encryption. This provides a secure communication channel for data transmission. The information encoded in spatial modes is retrieved using artificial neural networks, which are trained from the intensity distributions of experimentally detected spatial modes. Our on-fiber communication platform allows us to use single spatial modes for information encoding as well as the high-dimensional superposition modes for bit-by-bit and byte-by-byte encoding respectively. This protocol enables one to recover messages and images with almost perfect accuracy. Our classical smart protocol for high-dimensional encryption in optical fibers provides a platform that can be adapted to address increased per-photon information capacity at the quantum level, while maintaining the fidelity of information transfer. This is key for quantum technologies relying on structured fields of light, particularly those that are challenged by free-space propagation.  more » « less
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Machine Learning: Science and Technology
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Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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