skip to main content


Title: Coherent backscattering of entangled photon pairs
Correlations between entangled photons are a key ingredient for testing fundamental aspects of quantum mechanics and an invaluable resource for quantum technologies. However, scattering from a dynamic medium typically scrambles and averages out such correlations. Here we show that multiply scattered entangled photons reflected from a dynamic complex medium remain partially correlated. In experiments and full-wave simulations we observe enhanced correlations, within an angular range determined by the transport mean free path, which prevail over disorder averaging. Theoretical analysis reveals that this enhancement arises from the interference between scattering trajectories, in which the photons leave the sample and are then virtually reinjected back into it. These paths are the quantum counterpart of the paths that lead to the coherent backscattering of classical light. This work points to opportunities for entanglement transport despite dynamic multiple scattering in complex systems.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2146021
NSF-PAR ID:
10400223
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Nature Physics
ISSN:
1745-2473
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Recent theories and experiments have explored the use of entangled photons as a spectroscopic probe of physical systems. We describe here a theoretical description for entropy production in the scattering of an entangled biphoton Fock state within an optical cavity. We develop this using perturbation theory by expanding the biphoton scattering matrix in terms of single-photon terms in which we introduce the photon-photon interaction via a complex coupling constant, ξ. We show that the von Neumann entropy provides a concise measure of this interaction. We then develop a microscopic model and show that in the limit of fast fluctuations, the entanglement entropy vanishes, whereas in the limit of slow fluctuations, the entanglement entropy depends on the magnitude of the fluctuations and reaches a maximum. Our result suggests that experiments measuring biphoton entanglement give microscopic information pertaining to exciton-exciton correlations. 
    more » « less
  2. Recent theories and experiments have explored the use of entangled photons as a spectroscopic probe of physical systems. We describe here a theoretical description for entropy production in the scattering of an entangled biphoton Fock state within an optical cavity. We develop this using perturbation theory by expanding the biphoton scattering matrix in terms of single-photon terms in which we introduce the photon-photon interaction via a complex coupling constant, ξ. We show that the von Neumann entropy provides a concise measure of this interaction. We then develop a microscopic model and show that in the limit of fast fluctuations, the entanglement entropy vanishes, whereas in the limit of slow fluctuations, the entanglement entropy depends on the magnitude of the fluctuations and reaches a maximum. Our result suggests that experiments measuring biphoton entanglement give microscopic information pertaining to exciton-exciton correlations. 
    more » « less
  3. Recent theories and experiments have explored the use of entangled photons as a spectroscopic probe of physical systems. We describe here a theoretical description for entropy production in the scattering of an entangled biphoton Fock state within an optical cavity. We develop this using perturbation theory by expanding the biphoton scattering matrix in terms of single-photon terms in which we introduce the photon-photon interaction via a complex coupling constant, . We show that the von Neumann entropy provides a concise measure of this interaction. We then develop a microscopic model and show that in the limit of fast fluctuations, the entanglement entropy vanishes, whereas in the limit of slow fluctuations, the entanglement entropy depends on the magnitude of the fluctuations and reaches a maximum. Our result suggests that experiments measuring biphoton entanglement give microscopic information pertaining to exciton-exciton correlations. 
    more » « less
  4. The generation, manipulation and quantification of non-classical light, such as quantum-entangled photon pairs, differs significantly from methods with classical light. Thus, quantum measures could be harnessed to give new information about the interaction of light with matter. In this study we investigate if quantum entanglement can be used to diagnose disease. In particular, we test whether brain tissue from subjects suffering from Alzheimer’s disease can be distinguished from healthy tissue. We find that this is indeed the case. Polarization-entangled photons traveling through brain tissue lose their entanglement via a decohering scattering interaction that gradually renders the light in a maximally mixed state. We found that in thin tissue samples (between 120 and 600 micrometers) photons decohere to a distinguishable lesser degree in samples with Alzheimer’s disease than in healthy-control ones. Thus, it seems feasible that quantum measures of entangled photons could be used as a means to identify brain samples with the neurodegenerative disease.

     
    more » « less
  5. Techniques to control the spectro-temporal properties of quantum states of light at ultrafast time scales are crucial for numerous applications in quantum information science. In this work, we report an all-optical time lens for quantum signals based on Bragg-scattering four-wave mixing with picosecond resolution. Our system achieves a temporal magnification factor of 158 with single-photon level inputs, which is sufficient to overcome the intrinsic timing jitter of superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors. We demonstrate discrimination of two terahertz-bandwidth, single-photon-level pulses with 2.1 ps resolution (electronic jitter corrected resolution of 1.25 ps). We draw on elegant tools from Fourier optics to further show that the time-lens framework can be extended to perform complex unitary spectro-temporal transformations by imparting optimized temporal and spectral phase profiles to the input waveforms. Using numerical optimization techniques, we show that a four-stage transformation can realize an efficient temporal mode sorter that demultiplexes 10 Hermite–Gaussian (HG) modes. Our time-lens-based framework represents a new toolkit for arbitrary spectro-temporal processing of single photons, with applications in temporal mode quantum processing, high-dimensional quantum key distribution, temporal mode matching for quantum networks, and quantum-enhanced sensing with time-frequency entangled states.

     
    more » « less