Measure multidimensional complex and unknown polarization states in a single shot? All you need is machine learning!

Single-shot polarimetry of vector beams by supervised learning

States of light encoding multiple polarizations – vector beams – offer unique capabilities in metrology and communication. However, their practical application is limited by the lack of methods for measuring many polarizations in a scalable and compact way. Here we demonstrate polarimetry of vector beams in a single shot without any polarization optics. We map the beam polarization content into a spatial intensity distribution through multiple light scattering and exploit supervised learning for single-shot measurements of multiple polarizations. The method also allows us to classify beams with an unknown number of polarization modes, a functionality missing in conventional techniques. Our findings enable a fast and compact polarimeter for polarization-structured light, a universal tool that may radically impact optical devices for sensing, imaging, and computing.

Large-scale photonic natural language processing: ask your lasers if the movie is good!

Modern machine learning applications require huge artificial networks demanding in computational power and memory. Light-based platforms promise ultra-fast and energy-efficient hardware, which may help in realizing next-generation data processing devices. However, current photonic networks are limited by the number of input-output nodes that can be processed in a single shot. This restricted network capacity prevents their application to relevant large-scale problems such as natural language processing. Here, we realize a photonic processor with a capacity exceeding 1.5×1010 optical nodes, more than one order of magnitude larger than any previous implementation, which enables photonic large-scale text encoding and classification. By exploiting the full three-dimensional structure of the optical field propagating in free space, we overcome the interpolation threshold and reach the over-parametrized region of machine learning, a condition that allows high-performance natural language processing with a minimal fraction of training points. Our results provide a novel solution to scale-up light-driven computing and open the route to photonic language processing.

Variational quantum algorithm for Gaussian discrete solitons and their boson sampling

In the context of quantum information, highly nonlinear regimes, such as those supporting solitons, are marginally investigated. We miss general methods for quantum solitons, although they can act as entanglement generators or as self-organized quantum processors. We develop a computational approach that uses a neural network as a variational ansatz for quantum solitons in an array of waveguides. By training the resulting phase-space quantum machine learning model, we find different soliton solutions varying the number of particles and interaction strength. We consider Gaussian states that enable measuring the degree of entanglement and sampling the probability distribution of many-particle events. We also determine the probability of generating particle pairs and unveil that soliton bound states emit correlated pairs. These results may have a role in boson sampling with nonlinear systems and in quantum processors for entangled nonlinear waves

All-Optical Scalable Spatial Coherent Ising Machine

Networks of optical oscillators simulating coupled Ising spins have been recently proposed as a heuristic platform to solve hard optimization problems. These networks, called coherent Ising machines (CIMs), exploit the fact that the collective nonlinear dynamics of coupled oscillators can drive the system close to the global minimum of the classical Ising Hamiltonian, encoded in the coupling matrix of the network. To date, realizations of large-scale CIMs have been demonstrated using hybrid optical-electronic setups, where optical oscillators simulating different spins are subject to electronic feedback mechanisms emulating their mutual interaction. While the optical evolution ensures an ultrafast computation, the electronic coupling represents a bottleneck that causes the computational time to severely depend on the system size. Here, we propose an all-optical scalable CIM with fully programmable coupling. Our setup consists of an optical parametric amplifier with a spatial light modulator (SLM) within the parametric cavity. The spin variables are encoded in the binary phases of the optical wave front of the signal beam at different spatial points, defined by the pixels of the SLM. We first discuss how different coupling topologies can be achieved by different configurations of the SLM, and then benchmark our setup with a numerical simulation that mimics the dynamics of the proposed machine. In our proposal, both the spin dynamics and the coupling are fully performed in parallel, paving the way towards the realization of size-independent ultrafast optical hardware for large-scale computation purposes.