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  • QW_chiralAnomaly_PRL

    Rights statement: © 2018 American Physical Society

    Accepted author manuscript, 6.03 MB, PDF document

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  • PhysRevLett.121.260501

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Supersymmetric Polarization Anomaly in Photonic Discrete-Time Quantum Walks

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Article number260501
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>28/12/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Physical review letters
Issue number26
Number of pages6
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Quantum anomalies lead to finite expectation values that defy the apparent symmetries of a system. These anomalies are at the heart of topological effects in electronic, photonic, and atomic systems, where they result in a unique response to external fields but generally escape a more direct observation. Here, we implement an optical-network realization of a discrete-time quantum walk, where such an anomaly can be observed directly in the unique circular polarization of a topological midgap state. We base the system on a single-step protocol overcoming the experimental infeasibility of earlier multistep protocols. The evolution combines a chiral symmetry with a previously unexplored unitary version of supersymmetry. Having experimental access to the position and the coin state of the walker, we perform a full polarization tomography and provide evidence for the predicted anomaly of the midgap states. This approach opens the prospect to dynamically distill topological states for quantum information applications.