Synopsis: Towards a handheld optical table

A new optical component for integrated photonic circuits could prove helpful for applications that store and transmit the information contained in linearly polarized light.
Synopsis figure
Credit: L. Sansoni et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. (2010)

A typical quantum optics experiment takes place in a laboratory filled with numerous freestanding components mounted to an optical table.  All of these optical elements require careful alignment and stabilization—a limitation that could be overcome by instead embedding the optical components on a single rigid structure, such as a chip.

Writing in Physical Review Letters, Linda Sansoni and colleagues at Sapienza Universitá di Roma and collaborators at several institutes in Italy describe a beam splitter they fabricated in a glass structure for use in an integrated photonic circuit on a chip. A beam splitter, which separates one beam into two, is often an essential component for optical experiments. To make the beam splitter, they focused femtosecond infrared laser pulses on borosilicate glass and etched pathways for the input light.  By measuring input and output light for nonentangled and entangled photon states, the group showed that their device preserves the polarization of the input light.

The polarization-preserving feature of Sansoni et al.’s device makes it potentially useful for tasks like cryptography and linear optics quantum computing that are based on the information stored in the polarization of light. – Sonja Grondalski


Features

More Features »

Announcements

More Announcements »

Subject Areas

Quantum Information

Previous Synopsis

Interdisciplinary Physics

The topology of trade

Read More »

Next Synopsis

Quantum Information

Unexpected error

Read More »

Related Articles

Synopsis: Entangled Photon Source Ticks All Boxes
Quantum Physics

Synopsis: Entangled Photon Source Ticks All Boxes

A quantum-dot-based device combines all of the attributes necessary for producing a reliable source of entangled photons for quantum information applications.  Read More »

Viewpoint: Alkaline Atoms Held with Optical Tweezers
Quantum Information

Viewpoint: Alkaline Atoms Held with Optical Tweezers

Three separate groups demonstrate the trapping of two-electron atoms in arrays of optical tweezers, opening up new opportunities for quantum simulation and many-body studies. Read More »

Synopsis: A Possible Quantum Computing Boost 
Quantum Information

Synopsis: A Possible Quantum Computing Boost 

A hybrid quantum-classical computing algorithm could solve a basic computer science problem faster than a classical computer. Read More »

More Articles