### Abstract

Feynman described the double slit experiment as "a phenomenon which is impossible, absolutely impossible, to explain in any classical way and which has in it the heart of quantum mechanics". The double-slit experiment, performed one photon at a time, dramatically demonstrates the particle-wave duality of quantum objects by generating a fringe pattern corresponding to the interference of light (a wave phenomenon) from two slits, even when there is only one photon (a particle) at a time passing through the apparatus. The particle-wave duality of light should also apply to complex three dimensional optical fields formed by multi-path interference, however, this has not been demonstrated. Here we observe particle-wave duality of a three dimensional field by generating a trefoil optical vortex knot - one photon at a time. This result demonstrates a fundamental physical principle, that particle-wave duality implies interference in both space (between spatially distinct modes) and time (through the complex evolution of the superposition of modes), and has implications for topologically entangled single photon states, orbital angular momentum multiplexing and topological quantum computing.

Original language | English |
---|---|

Article number | 24463 |

Number of pages | 6 |

Journal | Scientific Reports |

Volume | 6 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 18 Apr 2016 |

### Cite this

*Scientific Reports*,

*6*, [24463]. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep24463

}

*Scientific Reports*, vol. 6, 24463. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep24463

**Optical vortex knots - one photon at a time.** / Tempone-Wiltshire, Sebastien J.; Johnstone, Shaun P.; Helmerson, Kristian.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Research › peer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Optical vortex knots - one photon at a time

AU - Tempone-Wiltshire, Sebastien J.

AU - Johnstone, Shaun P.

AU - Helmerson, Kristian

PY - 2016/4/18

Y1 - 2016/4/18

N2 - Feynman described the double slit experiment as "a phenomenon which is impossible, absolutely impossible, to explain in any classical way and which has in it the heart of quantum mechanics". The double-slit experiment, performed one photon at a time, dramatically demonstrates the particle-wave duality of quantum objects by generating a fringe pattern corresponding to the interference of light (a wave phenomenon) from two slits, even when there is only one photon (a particle) at a time passing through the apparatus. The particle-wave duality of light should also apply to complex three dimensional optical fields formed by multi-path interference, however, this has not been demonstrated. Here we observe particle-wave duality of a three dimensional field by generating a trefoil optical vortex knot - one photon at a time. This result demonstrates a fundamental physical principle, that particle-wave duality implies interference in both space (between spatially distinct modes) and time (through the complex evolution of the superposition of modes), and has implications for topologically entangled single photon states, orbital angular momentum multiplexing and topological quantum computing.

AB - Feynman described the double slit experiment as "a phenomenon which is impossible, absolutely impossible, to explain in any classical way and which has in it the heart of quantum mechanics". The double-slit experiment, performed one photon at a time, dramatically demonstrates the particle-wave duality of quantum objects by generating a fringe pattern corresponding to the interference of light (a wave phenomenon) from two slits, even when there is only one photon (a particle) at a time passing through the apparatus. The particle-wave duality of light should also apply to complex three dimensional optical fields formed by multi-path interference, however, this has not been demonstrated. Here we observe particle-wave duality of a three dimensional field by generating a trefoil optical vortex knot - one photon at a time. This result demonstrates a fundamental physical principle, that particle-wave duality implies interference in both space (between spatially distinct modes) and time (through the complex evolution of the superposition of modes), and has implications for topologically entangled single photon states, orbital angular momentum multiplexing and topological quantum computing.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84964237502&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/srep24463

DO - 10.1038/srep24463

M3 - Article

VL - 6

JO - Scientific Reports

JF - Scientific Reports

SN - 2045-2322

M1 - 24463

ER -