Two-dimensional topological quantum walks in the momentum space of structured light
PublisherOptical Society of American (OSA)
Rights accessOpen Access
European Commission's projectPHOSPhOR - Photonics of Spin–Orbit Optical Phenomena (EC-H2020-694683)
Quantum walks are powerful tools for quantum applications and for designing topological systems. Although they are simulated in a variety of platforms, genuine two-dimensional realizations are still challenging. Here we present an innovative approach to the photonic simulation of a quantum walk in two dimensions, where walker positions are encoded in the transverse wavevector components of a single light beam. The desired dynamics is obtained by means of a sequence of liquid-crystal devices, which apply polarization-dependent transverse “kicks” to the photons in the beam. We engineer our quantum walk so that it realizes a periodically-driven Chern insulator, and we probe its topological features by detecting the anomalous displacement of the photonic wavepacket under the effect of a constant force. Our compact, versatile platform offers exciting prospects for the photonic simulation of two-dimensional quantum dynamics and topological systems.
CitationMassignan, P. [et al.]. Two-dimensional topological quantum walks in the momentum space of structured light. "Optica", 20 Febrer 2020, vol. 7, p. 108.