A. Crespi, R. Osellame, R. Ramponi, M. Bentivegna, F. Flamini, N. Spagnolo, N. Viggianiello, L. Innocenti, P. Mataloni, and F. Sciarrino, “Suppression law of quantum states in a 3-D photonic fast Fourier transform chip”, Nature Communications 7, 10469 (2016).
The identification of phenomena able to pinpoint quantum interference is attracting large interest. Indeed, a generalization of the Hong–Ou–Mandel effect valid for any number of photons and optical modes would represent an important leap ahead both from a fundamental perspective and for practical applications, such as certification of photonic quantum devices, whose computational speedup is expected to depend critically on multi-particle interference. Quantum distinctive features have been predicted for many particles injected into multimode interferometers implementing the Fourier transform over the optical modes. Here we develop a scalable approach for the implementation of the fast Fourier transform algorithm using three-dimensional photonic integrated interferometers, fabricated via femtosecond laser writing technique. We observe the suppression law for a large number of output states with four- and eight-mode optical circuits: the experimental results demonstrate genuine quantum interference between the injected photons, thus offering a powerful tool for diagnostic of photonic platforms.