Integrated multimode interferometers with arbitrary designs for photonic boson sampling

The evolution of bosons undergoing arbitrary linear unitary transformations quickly becomes hard to predict using classical computers as we increase the number of particles and modes. Photons propagating in a multiport interferometer naturally solve this so-called boson sampling problem, thereby motivating the development of technologies that enable precise control of multiphoton interference in large interferometers. Here, we use novel three-dimensional manufacturing techniques to achieve simultaneous control of all the parameters describing an arbitrary interferometer. We implement a small instance of the boson sampling problem by studying three-photon interference in a five-mode integrated interferometer, confirming the quantum-mechanical predictions. Scaled-up versions of this set-up are a promising way to demonstrate the computational advantage of quantum systems over classical computers. The possibility of implementing arbitrary linear-optical interferometers may also find applications in high-precision measurements and quantum communication.

  • A. Crespi, R. Osellame, R. Ramponi, D. J. Brod, E. F. Galvao, N. Spagnolo, C. Vitelli, E. Maiorino, P. Mataloni, F. Sciarrino, Integrated multimode interferometers with arbitrary designs for photonic boson samplingNature Photonics 7, 545 (2013).