Artificial gauge field switching using orbital angular momentum modes in optical waveguides

TitleArtificial gauge field switching using orbital angular momentum modes in optical waveguides
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsJörg, C, Queraltó, G, Kremer, M, Pelegrí, G, Schulz, J, Szameit, A, von Freymann, G, Mompart, J, Ahufinger, V
JournalLight: Science & Applications
Date Published2020/08/28
ISBN Number2047-7538

The discovery of artificial gauge fields controlling the dynamics of uncharged particles that otherwise elude the influence of standard electromagnetic fields has revolutionised the field of quantum simulation. Hence, developing new techniques to induce these fields is essential to boost quantum simulation of photonic structures. Here, we experimentally demonstrate the generation of an artificial gauge field in a photonic lattice by modifying the topological charge of a light beam, overcoming the need to modify the geometry along the evolution or impose external fields. In particular, we show that an effective magnetic flux naturally appears when a light beam carrying orbital angular momentum is injected into a waveguide lattice with a diamond chain configuration. To demonstrate the existence of this flux, we measure an effect that derives solely from the presence of a magnetic flux, the Aharonov-Bohm caging effect, which is a localisation phenomenon of wavepackets due to destructive interference. Therefore, we prove the possibility of switching on and off artificial gauge fields just by changing the topological charge of the input state, paving the way to accessing different topological regimes in a single structure, which represents an important step forward for optical quantum simulation.

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