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Quantum correlations in optical angle-orbital angular momentum variables

Leach, Jonathan and Jack, Barry and Romero, Jacqui and Jha, Anand K. and Yao, Alison M. and Franke-Arnold, Sonja and Ireland, David G. and Boyd, Robert W. and Barnett, Stephen M. and Padgett, Miles J. (2010) Quantum correlations in optical angle-orbital angular momentum variables. Science, 329 (5992). pp. 662-665. ISSN 0036-8075

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Abstract

Entanglement of the properties of two separated particles constitutes a fundamental signature of quantum mechanics and is a key resource for quantum information science. We demonstrate strong Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen correlations between the angular position and orbital angular momentum of two photons created by the nonlinear optical process of spontaneous parametric down-conversion. The discrete nature of orbital angular momentum and the continuous but periodic nature of angular position give rise to a special sort of entanglement between these two variables. The resulting correlations are found to be an order of magnitude stronger than those allowed by the uncertainty principle for independent (nonentangled) particles. Our results suggest that angular position and orbital angular momentum may find important applications in quantum information science.