Exploring complex graphs using three-dimensional quantum walks of correlated photons

Science Advances, Vol 7, Issue 9, 2021


M. Ehrhard, R. Keil, L.J. Maczewsky, Ch. Dittel, M. Heinrich and A. Szameit

Graph representations are a powerful concept for solving complex problems across natural science, as patterns of connectivity can give rise to a multitude of emergent phenomena. Graph-based approaches have proven particularly fruitful in quantum communication and quantum search algorithms in highly branched quantum networks. Here, we introduce a previously unidentified paradigm for the direct experimental realization of excitation dynamics associated with three-dimensional networks by exploiting the hybrid action of spatial and polarization degrees of freedom of photon pairs in complex waveguide circuits with tailored birefringence. This testbed for the experimental exploration of multiparticle quantum walks on complex, highly connected graphs paves the way toward exploiting the applicative potential of fermionic dynamics in integrated quantum photonics.