Research ArticleOPTICS

Real-time shaping of entangled photons by classical control and feedback

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Science Advances  09 Sep 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 37, eabb6298
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb6298

Abstract

Quantum technologies hold great promise for revolutionizing photonic applications such as cryptography. Yet, their implementation in real-world scenarios is challenging, mostly because of sensitivity of quantum correlations to scattering. Recent developments in optimizing the shape of single photons introduce new ways to control entangled photons. Nevertheless, shaping single photons in real time remains a challenge due to the weak associated signals, which are too noisy for optimization processes. Here, we overcome this challenge and control scattering of entangled photons by shaping the classical laser beam that stimulates their creation. We discover that because the classical beam and the entangled photons follow the same path, the strong classical signal can be used for optimizing the weak quantum signal. We show that this approach can increase the length of free-space turbulent quantum links by up to two orders of magnitude, opening the door for using wavefront shaping for quantum communications.

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