Twisted photon entanglement through turbulent air across Vienna

Mario Krenn, Johannes Handsteiner, Matthias Fink, Robert Fickler, Anton Zeilinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Photons with a twisted phase front can carry a discrete, in principle, unbounded amount of orbital angular momentum (OAM). The large state space allows for complex types of entanglement, interesting both for quantum communication and for fundamental tests of quantum theory. However, the distribution of such entangled states over large distances was thought to be infeasible due to influence of atmospheric turbulence, indicating a serious limitation on their usefulness. Here we show that it is possible to distribute quantum entanglement encoded in OAM over a turbulent intracity link of 3 km. We confirm quantum entanglement of the first two higher-order levels (with OAM=+/- 1h and +/- 2h). They correspond to four additional quantum channels orthogonal to all that have been used in long-distance quantum experiments so far. Therefore, a promising application would be quantum communication with a large alphabet. We also demonstrate that our link allows access to up to 11 quantum channels of OAM. The restrictive factors toward higher numbers are technical limitations that can be circumvented with readily available technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14197-14201
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume112
Issue number46
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • quantum entanglement
  • photonic orbital angular momentum
  • quantum communication
  • large Hilbert space
  • photonic spatial modes
  • ORBITAL-ANGULAR-MOMENTUM
  • SPACE OPTICAL LINK
  • ATMOSPHERIC-TURBULENCE
  • QUANTUM TELEPORTATION
  • STATES
  • LIGHT
  • BEAMS

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