Multiphoton Quantum Interference: Pushing the Limits of Quantum Photonic Technologies
National Institute Standards and Technology
The control of photons represents a pillar for our modern technological society. The emerging field of quantum photonics exploits quantum properties of light to dramatically improve the performance of protocols for metrology, communication and information processing. However, modern applications exploit very little of the enormous potential of the photon. Unfortunately, the extremely low probability of generating quantum states with multiple photons, from conventional spontaneous parametric down-conversion sources, imposes severe limitations to realistic photonic technologies. The unfeasible time involved in the preparation of these precious states of light render unrealizable the manipulation and characterization of multiphoton high-dimensional entangled states. In this talk, I will discuss our recent results on the preparation, manipulation and characterization of mesoscopic states of light. These capabilities have allowed us to explore exotic conditions under which light is forced to manifest novel interference properties. In this context, I will describe the first experimental observation of looped trajectories of light in three-slit interference. This effect, that the physics community would have thought impossible a few years ago, elucidates new properties of light that will potentially enrich protocols for information processing that rely on interference effects.