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An optical Eratosthenes' sieve for large prime numbers

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posted on 2023-11-30, 19:06 authored by Bohan Li, G. Maltese, J. I. Costa-Filho, Anastasia A. Pushkina, A. I. Lvovsky
We report the first experimental demonstration of prime number sieve via linear optics. The prime numbers distribution is encoded in the intensity zeros of the far field produced by a spatial light modulator hologram, which comprises a set of diffraction gratings whose periods correspond to all prime numbers below 149. To overcome the limited far field illumination window and the discretization error introduced by the SLM finite spatial resolution, we rely on additional diffraction gratings and sequential recordings of the far field. This strategy allows us to optically sieve all prime numbers below $149^2=22201$.

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