Youngs double slit experiment is one of the most celebrated achievements in quantum and classical optics; it provides experimental proof of the wave-particle duality of light. When the paths of the double slit are marked with orthogonal polarizations, the path information is revealed and no interference pattern is observed. However, the path information can be erased with a complimentary analysis of the polarization. Here we use hybrid entanglement between photons carrying orbital angular momentum and polarization to show that, just as in Young's experiment, the paths (OAM) marked with polarization do not lead to interference. However, when introducing the eraser (polarizer) which projects the polarization of one of the entangled photons onto a complementary polarization basis, the OAM (paths) are allowed to interfere, leading to the formation of azimuthal fringes whose frequency is proportional to the OAM content carried by the photon.
Combining the multiple degrees of freedom of photons has become topical in quantum communication and information
processes. This provides advantages such as increasing the amount of information that is be packed into
a photon or probing the wave-particle nature of light through path-polarisation entanglement. Here we present
two experiments that show the advantages of using hybrid entanglement between orbital angular moment (OAM)
and polarisation. Firstly, we present results where high dimensional quantum key distribution is demonstrated
with spatial modes that have non-separable polarisation-OAM DOF called vector modes. Secondly, we show
that through OAM-polarisation entanglement, the traditional which-way experiment can be performed without
using the traditional physical path interference approach.
High-dimensional encoding using higher degrees of freedom has become topical in quantum communication protocols. When taking advantage of entanglement correlations, the state space can be made even larger. Here, we exploit the entanglement between two dimensional space and polarization qubits, to realize a four-dimensional quantum key distribution protocol. This is achieved by using entangled states as a basis, analogous to the Bell basis, rather than typically encoding information on individual qubits. The encoding and decoding in the required complementary bases is achieved by manipulating the Pancharatnam-Berry phase with a single optical element: a q-plate. Our scheme shows a transmission fidelity of 0.98 and secret key rate of 0.9 bits per photon. While the use of only static elements is preferable, we show that the low secret key rate is a consequence of the filter based detection of the modes, rather than our choice of encoding modes.