The Manipulation of Transverse Spatial Mode and Polarization Degrees of Freedom of Light

Deepika Sundarraman


We establish both theoretical and experimental techniques to manipulate three degrees of freedom of light- the two transverse spatial mode and the polarization degrees of freedom-in an asymmetric Mach Zehnder interferometer (AMZI). The transverse spatial mode and polarization degrees of freedom function analogously when interfered in the (AMZI). A transformation of spatial modes possessing zero to non-zero orbital angular momentum along with polarization transformation was predicted theoretically and demonstrated experimentally in several cases involving classical laser light. Furthermore, the two input interferometer is capable of manipulating single photons in a similar manner and demonstrating a quantum phenomenon called Hong Ou Mandel Interference (HOMI) to create path entangled states of twin photons. This transformation can thus be extended to the quantum case, where a combined manipulation of spin and orbital angular momentum can be achieved for quantum information processing.