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Classical analogy of a cat state using vortex light

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posted on 2023-11-30, 06:01 authored by Shi-Long Liu, Qiang Zhou, Shi-Kai Liu, Yan Li, Yin-Hai Li, Zhi-Yuan Zhou, Guang-Can Guo, Bao-Sen Shi
Cat states are systems in a superposition of macroscopically distinguishable states; this superposition can be of either classically or quantum distinct state, regardless of the number of particles or modes involved. Here, we constructed an experimental model that simulates an optical cat state by engineering the classical orbital angular momentum of light, referred to here as an analogous cat state (a-CS). In our scheme, the behaviors of the a-CS in position space show many similarities to the quantum version of the optical cat state in phase space, for example, movement, rotation, and interference. Experimentally, the a-CS, which has two spatially localized Gaussian intensity lobes, can be evolved from "kitten" to "cat" by engineering the acquired phase hologram. Additionally, we simulated the "decoherence" of the a-CS influenced by atmospheric turbulence. The a-CS provides a reliable tool for visualizing and studying the behaviors of quantum cat states in phase space.

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