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Sci Rep. 2013 Sep 25;3:2726. doi: 10.1038/srep02726.

Test of mutually unbiased bases for six-dimensional photonic quantum systems.

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Dipartimento di Fisica, Sapienza Università di Roma, Roma 00185, Italy.


In quantum information, complementarity of quantum mechanical observables plays a key role. The eigenstates of two complementary observables form a pair of mutually unbiased bases (MUBs). More generally, a set of MUBs consists of bases that are all pairwise unbiased. Except for specific dimensions of the Hilbert space, the maximal sets of MUBs are unknown in general. Even for a dimension as low as six, the identification of a maximal set of MUBs remains an open problem, although there is strong numerical evidence that no more than three simultaneous MUBs do exist. Here, by exploiting a newly developed holographic technique, we implement and test different sets of three MUBs for a single photon six-dimensional quantum state (a "qusix"), encoded exploiting polarization and orbital angular momentum of photons. A close agreement is observed between theory and experiments. Our results can find applications in state tomography, quantitative wave-particle duality, quantum key distribution.

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