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Book Chapter

Classically Entangled Light


Aiello,  Andrea
Marquardt Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Forbes, A., Aiello, A., & Ndagano, B. (2019). Classically Entangled Light. In T. D. Visser (Ed.), Progress in Optics (pp. 99-153). Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/bs.po.2018.11.001.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-9DBE-7
The concept of entanglement is so synonymous with quantum mechanics that the prefix “quantum” is often deemed unnecessary; there is after all only quantum entanglement. But the hallmark of entangled quantum states is nonseparability, a property that is not unique to the quantum world. On the contrary, nonseparability appears in many physical systems, and pertinently, in classical vector states of light: classical entanglement? Here we outline the concept of classical entanglement, highlight where it may be found, how to control and exploit it, and discuss the similarities and differences between quantum and classical entangled systems. Intriguingly, we show that quantum tools may be applied to classical systems, and likewise that classical light may be used in quantum processes. While we mostly use vectorial structured light throughout the text as our example of choice, we make it clear that the concepts outlined here may be extended beyond this with little effort, which we showcase with a few selected case studies.