Across various areas in the optical world, there has been a growing interest in exploiting the properties of non-separable optical fields. A class of non-separable fields, known as vector modes, exhibit a coupling between the spatial and polarisation degrees of freedom that is akin of entanglement in quantum mechanics. These vector modes, however, are typically characterized using qualitative measurements which are inadequate in determining to what extent an optical field is non-separable. Here, we present tools to characterize the degree of non-separability of an arbitrary optical field, exploiting the similarities between vector modes and quantum entangled states. As an example, we use vector modes carrying orbital angular momentum to demonstrate the effectiveness of our scheme, and note that the approach can be generalized to vector modes as a whole.
B. Ndagano, H. Sroor, M. McLaren, C. Rosales-Guzmán, and A. Forbes, "Measuring the non-separability of optical fields," Proc. SPIE 10120, Complex Light and Optical Forces XI, 101200W (Presented at SPIE OPTO: February 02, 2017; Published: 27 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254028.
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