Orbital angular momentum in quantum information and computation

Sonja Franke-Arnold, John Jeffers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Citations (Scopus)


Light has a long tradition in serving as a model representation for quantum communication systems. Its polarization provides two orthogonal states, for example, horizontal, and vertical, which can be used to encode one bit of information in a quantum system (say, horizontal represents 0 and vertical represents 1). The system does not necessarily need to be horizontally or vertically polarized; it could be left or right circularly polarized or linearly polarized at some other angle. This allows the system to be in a superposition of the orthogonal bit states and therefore to represent what is known as a qubit. Various alternative physical qubit systems are competing in the run toward other feasible quantum information applications, including cold trapped
ions, Bose condensates, and quantum dots. Polarized light, however, is particularly
suitable for proof of principle investigations, as its generation, manipulation, and detection is comparatively simple, fast, and inexpensive. The field is advancing rapidly,
and quantum key distribution has already entered the public domain.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStructured Light and its Applications
Subtitle of host publicationAn Introduction to Phase-Structured Beams and Nanoscale Optical Forces
EditorsDavid L. Andrews
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


  • quantum information
  • quantum computation
  • angular momentum
  • polarized light

Cite this

Franke-Arnold, S., & Jeffers, J. (2008). Orbital angular momentum in quantum information and computation. In D. L. Andrews (Ed.), Structured Light and its Applications: An Introduction to Phase-Structured Beams and Nanoscale Optical Forces https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-374027-4.00011-6