Tensorial flow of mosaic beams in PRL !


Optical beams with nonuniform polarization offer enhanced capabilities for information transmission, boasting increased capacity, security, and resilience. These beams possess vectorial features that are spatially organized within localized three-dimensional regions, forming tensors that can be harnessed across a spectrum of applications spanning quantum physics, imaging, and machine learning. However, when subjected to the effect of the transmission channel, the tensorial propagation leads to a loss of data integrity due to the entanglement of spatial and polarization degrees of freedom. The challenge of quantifying this spatial-polarization coupling poses a significant obstacle to the utilization of vector beams in turbulent environments, multimode fibers, and disordered media. Here, we introduce and experimentally investigate mosaic vector beams, which consist of localized polarization tesserae that propagate in parallel, demonstrating accurate measurement of their behavior as they traverse strongly disordered channels and decoding their polarization structure in single-shot experiments. The resultant transmission tensor empowers polarization-based optical communication and imaging in complex media. These findings also hold promise for photonic machine learning, where the engineering of tensorial flow can enable optical computing with high throughput.