Abstract
Cat states are systems in a superposition of macroscopically distinguishable states; this superposition can be of either classically or quantum distinct states, regardless of the number of particles or modes involved. Here, we constructed an experimental model that simulates an optical cat state by engineering the classical orbital angular momentum of light, referred to here as an analogous cat state (aCS). In our scheme, the behaviors of the aCS in position space show many similarities to the quantum version of the optical cat state in phase space, for example, movement, rotation, and interference. Experimentally, the aCS, which has two spatially localized Gaussian intensity lobes, can be evolved from “kitten” to “cat” by engineering the acquired phase hologram. Additionally, we simulated the “decoherence” of the aCS influenced by atmospheric turbulence. The aCS provides a reliable tool for visualizing and studying the behaviors of quantum cat states in phase space.
Introduction
Schrödinger’s cat, a famous Gedankenexperiment, devised by Erwin Schrödinger in 1935^{1,2}, presents an unfortunate cat being both dead and alive inside a sealed box with a single radioactive atom. In analogy with this famous Gedankenexperiment, the modern notion of the Schrödinger cat state is a superposition state of two macroscopically distinguishable states (e.g., the “alive” and “dead” cat states) in a certain degree of freedom (DOF)^{3}. Such states lie at the heart of quantum mechanics, not only as features in the theoretical interpretation of the quantum world, but also in quantum information processing, such as quantum computation and metrology^{4,5}. In quantum optics, one particularly interesting quantum cat state (qCS) is realized via a superposition of two coherent states ±α〉 with opposite phase. The qCS has the form \(\left {CS_ \pm } \right\rangle = N\left( {\left \alpha \right\rangle _{\mathrm{Alive}} \pm e^{i\theta }\left {  \alpha } \right\rangle _{\mathrm{Dead}}} \right)\), where N is a normalization factor. Over the last few decades, the creation and enlargement of these types of cat states have been studied widely in the photonnumber representation n〉^{6,7,8,9,10,11,12}; the generation of photonsubtracted squeezedvacuum states is one such example^{7,9,10}. Unfortunately, most of the preparation mechanisms still produce “small cat” states, also sometimes referred to as “kittens”. Experimentally, the manipulation of a “large cat” is very difficult; it is therefore valuable to explore their generation in other representations. Significant advances have been made in several systems^{13,14}, e.g., excitations of different Rydberg states to fit a cat state^{15,16} and formations of cat states by two BoseEinstein condensates^{17,18,19}. Nevertheless, creating a “cat” state is not an easy task, and the behaviors are so abstract that one has to reconstruct it in a specific space, for example in phase space^{7,10,12}, energy space^{20}, or another specific space^{14,15,21}.
Engineering a cat state in various physical platforms has always been an exciting endeavor. Inspired by the optical cat state \(\left {CS_ \pm } \right\rangle\) defined in the photon number (Fock) basis n〉, we try to reconstruct a catlike state in a Hilbert space formed by a spatial mode, i.e., the orbital angular momentum (OAM) of light^{22,23,24,25}. The pioneering work in 1993 of Allen et al. explored the connection between the highorder modes of the beam in the form of Glauber coherent states^{24,26}, but surprisingly remained unexplored further. Theoretically, we find that the intensity distribution I(x, y) of the aCS is similar to the Wigner function W(x, p) of the qCS, which indicates one can simulate various abstract behaviors of the qCS in phase space. Notably, the aCS will be naturally divided into two spatially distinct Gaussian intensity lobes (GILs) in position space via a neat OAM superposition; further, the distance between two GILs increases linearly along with the size of an analogous cat state (aCS). These behaviors are closely analogous to Schrödinger’s macroscopic superposition: the “alive cat” living in a place and the superposition state “dead cat” living in another place.
As an analogy, one can simulate not only the abstract behavior in phase space, but also most characteristics of qCS, e.g., classifying an aCS as an even or odd cat state via a photon or mode number occupation. Additionally, one can study interference in a Bloch sphere, and define a seeming “macroscopicity” criterion based on two GILs^{27,28}. Nevertheless, one should note that the OAMbased cat states have exactly zero quantum macroscopicity as the state formed by fully classical electronic modes^{29}. We only prepare it with classical optical waves to act as an analogy, and the same experiment could be performed with other classical waves in principle, for example, sound or water wave. Studies of the aCS in the classical world can help one to understand and visualize the behaviors of a “true” cat state in the quantum world. Furthermore, having a source of such aCSs would represent a new platform on which new cat statebased protocols could be prepared in the future. Indeed, many significant advances have been made in discovering suitable analogies of quantum phenomena^{30,31,32,33} using classical waves; typically, a “classical entanglement” is created using spin and OAM degree of freedom (DOF) of light^{31,33,34}. Such vortex beams can furnish a good “laboratory” in which to study quantum physics phenomena^{32}.
In this article, we first propose a way to simulate the qCS using spatial structured light. Experimentally, using classical OAM light, we successfully generate an aCS that evolves from a “kitten” \(\left( {\left {\alpha _L} \right = \sqrt {0.5} } \right)\) to a “cat” \(\left( {\left {\alpha _L} \right = \sqrt {5.0} } \right)\) with high quality. Specifically, we simulate the dynamics of the qCS completely in phase space, e.g., movement, rotation, and interference; test its coherent property, and evaluate it using standard state tomography. Furthermore, we simulate its “decoherence” by quantifying the effects of atmospheric turbulence on aCS. For this type of cat state, one can also study its behaviors in a discrete and continuous phase space with a discrete cylinder \(S_1 \times {\Bbb Z}\)^{35,36}. However, because reconstructing such a state in a cylinder is quite complicated in experiments, we do not provide a detailed discussion in this paper. The ability to generate such states not only provides a reliable tool for visualizing the abstract behaviors of qCSs in phase space, but it may also allow us to explore the physics associated with cat states.
Results
Designing an aCS in the classical world
An aCS \(\left {{Cat}} \right\rangle = N\left( {\left \alpha \right\rangle _{\mathrm{Alive}} + e^{i\theta }\left {  \alpha } \right\rangle _{\mathrm{Dead}}} \right)\) encoded in OAM space is a coherent superposition of two distinct oppositeamplitude states, namely α_{L}〉 and −α_{L}〉. One of them, i.e., α_{L}〉, is a weighted superposition of each OAM eigenstate L〉, similar to the usual optical coherent state formalism^{26,37},
Because of the similarity, we refer to it as an analogous coherent state (aCST). The OAM eigenstate we used is LaguerreGaussian (LG) mode: \(E_L = A(r,z)\exp \left( {iL\phi } \right)\), where the azimuthal dependence \(\exp \left( {iL\phi } \right)\) gives rise to the spiral wavefronts (see Fig. 1a); the fundamental electric field E_{L} is written as L〉 for similarity. In Eq. (1), α_{L}(= α_{L}e^{iφ}), a complex number, determines the size and position of the aCST in position space (see Supplementary Figs. 1, 2, and 3). In particular, with α_{L} = 0, the aCST \(\left {\alpha _L} \right\rangle = \left 0 \right\rangle\) signifies a Gaussian beam, i.e., an analogous vacuum state. In the cylindrical coordinate representation, the intensity distribution of the aCS takes the following form (see Supplementary Note 1),
where G(0) is the Gaussian beam; G(α) and G(−α) represent two degenerate GILs moving to the right and left, respectively, as the referenced beam G(0). The distance between the centers of the GILs is proportional to the size of α_{L}. Furthermore, the third term of Eq. (2) represents the interference between the “alive cat” and “dead cat” states, which is worth discussing for a qCS^{38}. Other parameters are explained in detail in the methods section. The intensity distribution in Eq. (2) for an aCS does not include topologic charge L, but it does carry the spiral spectral information of the OAM modes in a similar manner to the Wigner function of the qCS in phase space^{38,39,40}:
Equation 3 represents two Gaussian wavepackets and their interference in phase space (see Fig. 1b). For a qCS, the size and relative phase factor can completely determine its behaviors in phase space, i.e., movement, rotation, and interference. Correspondingly, the aCS, \(\left {\rm{Cat}} \right\rangle = N\left( {\left \alpha \right\rangle _{\mathrm{Alive}} + e^{i\theta }\left {  \alpha } \right\rangle _{\mathrm{Dead}}} \right)\), has similar behaviors in position space (see Fig. 1c, d), i.e., α_{L}(= α_{L}e^{iφ}) gives rise to movement (α_{L}) and rotation (e^{iφ}); the relative phase factor e^{iθ} depicts the interference between two GILs (see a dynamic process in Supplementary Movie 1 and 2). Interestingly, the interference disappears as the aCS grows, as can be seen in Fig. 1c, d. Additionally, one can define a macroscopicity criterion for the qCS in phase space via the separation of two Gaussian packets^{27,28}, i.e., M = 2α_{L} for the cat state in ref. ^{28}. Similarly, for an aCS with two GILs in position space, a “macroscopicity” criterion can also be defined as \(M = \sqrt 2 \left {\alpha _L} \right/2\)(see Supplementary Note 2).
In Fig. 1, panels c and d show the intensity distributions of two aCSs with \({\mathrm{}}\alpha _L{\mathrm{ = }}\sqrt {1.5}\) (kitten) and \({\mathrm{}}\alpha _L{\mathrm{ = }}\sqrt {3.5}\) (cat), respectively. Usually, the qCS can be classified as an even or odd cat based on the occupation number of the photons. Here, the aCSs can also be sorted based on their occupation on OAM modes. For example, an even aCS has only even OAM modes \(\left( {\left {\rm{Cat}} \right\rangle _{\mathrm{Even}} = c_0\left 0 \right\rangle + c_1\left 2 \right\rangle {\mathrm{ + }}c_2\left 4 \right\rangle {\mathrm{ + }}...} \right)\); likewise, the odd aCS has only odd OAM modes.
The experimental setup for generating an aCS is shown in Fig. 2a. A 780 nm Ti: sapphire laser was coupled into a single mode fiber as the input. The system has two spatial light modulators (SLM), SLM_G and SLM_M, each with an active area of 12.5 mm × 7.1 mm. SLM_G, placed after the polarization beam splitter (PBS), was used to prepare an aCS by loading on an acquired blazinggray phase (the detailed phase hologram is shown in the methods section). SLM_M was located on the focal plane of a 4f system consisting of two lenses (f = 350 mm); it was used to perform projection measurements for the OAMbased state with the help of a single mode fiber. The overall system has excellent mode orthogonality (see Supplementary Fig. 4). One can observe the behavior of the aCS directly in position space via a charge coupled device (CCD) camera^{41} (see Fig. 2b, c). Our primary and most exciting results from using this setup are presented in the following, including the spatial mode distributions (spatial spectra), coherence, and state tomography. Furthermore, we theoretically simulated the “decoherence” via the atmospheric turbulence.
The characteristics of the aCS
The normalized spatial spectra for an aCS with \(\alpha _L = \sqrt {0.5}\), \(\sqrt {1.5}\), and \(\sqrt {3.5}\) are shown in Fig. 3, where the orange and green bars represent the experimental and theoretical normalized results, respectively. The corresponding intensity distributions acquired by the CCD camera are inset in Fig. 3. Obviously, as the aCS grows, the separation between the two centers of the GILs increases; by measuring the separation distribution, the normalized relative separations from “kitten” to “cat” were found to be 1:2.68:3.30 (1:2.26:3.16 in theory). The overlap between the two GILs will approach zero when the size of α_{L} is equal to \(\sqrt {3.5}\), which indicates that the value of \(\sqrt {3.5}\) can be used as an effective boundary between analogous “kitten” \(\left( {\left {\alpha _L} \right < \sqrt {3.5} } \right)\) and “cat” \(\left( {\left {\alpha _L} \right \ge \sqrt {3.5} } \right)\). (see Supplementary Table 1 and Supplementary Note 3)
To demonstrate the coherence property of the aCS, the interference between the input aCS (in SLM_G, α_{L}〉 + −α_{L}〉) and a rotated state (in SLM_M, \(\left {\alpha _L} \right\rangle + e^{i\theta }\left {  \alpha _L} \right\rangle\)) was measured in the equatorial plane of the Bloch sphere (see Fig. 4a). This type of interference directly evaluates the coherence property of the generated aCS. Figure 4b presents two interference curves of the odd (red) and even (blue) aCS of \(\left {\alpha _L} \right{\mathrm{ = }}\sqrt {{\mathrm{3}}{\mathrm{.5}}}\), where the xaxis is the relative phase angle of the rotation state in SLM_M and the yaxis is the corresponding power. Additionally, one can evaluate the coherence by calculating the visibility (V = P_{Max} − P_{Min}/P_{Max} + P_{Min}). In Fig. 4c, four orange bars indicate the average visibilities of four aCSs from “kitten” to “cat”. The clear interference pattern and high visibility show that the coherence of an aCS is satisfactory and usable.
To study the wavefront of the aCS, we probed the interference between the sum of the superposed “wave packets” of the aCS and a referenced plane wave. The theoretical and experimental interference patterns for the aCS \(\left( {\left {\alpha _L} \right = \sqrt {3.5} } \right)\) are presented in Fig. 4d, e, respectively. The detailed calculations are presented in the methods section, and other results can be found in Supplementary Note 4. An offaxis interferogram was created by an input field and a reference plane wave with a small incident angle^{42}. The type of interference seen in the resulting patterns demonstrates that the two separated GILs have two genuine Gaussian wavefronts without any screw dislocation.
Finally, we evaluated the aCS using standard state tomography with mutually unbiased bases (MUBs), which is an exhaustive and reliable tool to estimate a highdimensional quantum state^{43}. These MUBs can be generated by a discrete Fourier transformation in a dimension of prime order^{44} (also see Supplementary Note 5). Several groups have achieved the reconstruction of highdimensional superposed classical states from d = 2 to 6 in OAM space^{45,46}, where the similarities are calculated between experimental and theoretical projections in all MUBs. Using this reliable strategy, we conducted the state tomography on odd “kitten” \(\left( {{\mathrm{}}\alpha _L{\mathrm{ = }}\sqrt {0.5} } \right)\) and “cat” \(\left( {{\mathrm{}}\alpha _L{\mathrm{ = }}\sqrt {5.0} } \right)\) states in OAM space with dimensions of 7 and 17, respectively. Figure 5a, b shows the theoretical projection matrix calculated in all MUBs, and Fig. 5c, d show the results of the experimental measurements. The projection matrices yielded similarities of S = 0.9907 and 0.9533 for the analogous “kitten” and “cat” states, respectively. In principle, one could also calculate the density matrix and fidelities^{47}; however, we will not discuss them further in this paper as the similarity is an analogous quantity to fidelity^{45}. The high similarities and the visualization of the spatial projectionmatrix directly demonstrate that the aCSs generated in our system are reliable and are very similar to the ideal catlike state.
The effect of atmospheric turbulence on aCS
A qCS is extremely fragile owing to due to “decoherence”. Similarly, “decoherence” can also occur for an analogous OAMbased cat state during its manipulation^{48}. In this section, we quantify the effects of atmospheric turbulence on the coherence of OAMbased cat states. Research on the effect of turbulence of OAM light is a valuable topic in both the classical and quantum communications fields. Various methods have been proposed to simulate the effects of atmospheric turbulence on OAM light, for instance, the multiple random phase screen (MRPS)^{49,50,51}, and rotation coherent function methods^{52}. Here, we simulated the “decoherence” of several OAM eigenstates and the aCS using the MRPS method^{49}.
When a coherent monochromatic OAM light beam ψ〉_{in} is transmitted through a turbulent medium, one can estimate the output state ψ〉_{out} and measure the OAM spiral spectrum. In the MRPS method, there are three steps to simulate the output fields. First, one should give an initial field ψ〉_{in}, which may be a single or a superposition OAM state. Second, the total propagation distance Z is divided into N segments, and the field \(\left \psi \right\rangle _{N = j}\) after turbulence is calculated from one screen V_{j−1}(r) to the next screen V_{j}(r). Finally, one obtains the final field \(\left \psi \right\rangle _{N = N}\) and measures the spiral spectrum (probability) \(P\left( {L\psi } \right) = \left\langle {L\psi } \right\rangle _{\mathrm{out}} = {\int\!\!\!\!\!\int} {\varphi _L(r,\theta )^ + \psi _{\mathrm{out}}\left( {r,\theta } \right)} r\mathrm{d}r\mathrm{d}\theta ^2\). The transmission progress between two phase screens can be described by a stochastic parabolic equation^{53,54};
where k = 2π/λ is the wavenumber; \(\nabla _T^2 = \partial _x^2 + \partial _y^2\) represents a twodimensional Laplacian in the transverse plane; and V(W, r) gives the phase and intensity fluctuation controlled by the power spectral density^{50,51,54}, where W is the turbulence strength depended on the Fried parameter r_{0} that associates with propagation distance and refractive index structure constant^{55}. We solved Eq. (4) using the splitstep Fourier method^{53,54}.
Based on the MRPS method, we simulated the propagation process of an aCS passing 1 km through Kolmogorov turbulence (W = 2.0)^{49,54,56,57}. Figure 6a, b shows the simulation results of the intensity and phase distributions for an aCS, and the corresponding theoretical distribution can be found in Fig. 1. We found that the profiles of the two GILs and their phase distribution remained intact. In fact, the output beam was still a transverse coherence field, and it could be decomposed into LG modes (mode dispersion). For example, a single OAM state L_{0}〉 can be written as \(\mathop {\sum}\limits_{\Delta L =  \infty }^{ + \infty } {C_{L_0}^{\Delta L}\left {L_0 + {\mathrm{\Delta }}L} \right\rangle }\) after the turbulence. For an aCS, i.e., an even cat state that only occupies even modes, the modes will couple to odd modes under turbulence, which leads to distortions between them. To describe the distortions, we employed the fidelity \(F = Tr\left[ {\sqrt {\sqrt \rho \rho _{\mathrm{sim}}\sqrt \rho } } \right]^2\) between the in and outputs, where ρ_{sim} refers to the simulated density matrix in a ddimensional subspace of the total OAM Hilbert space, and ρ belongs to the theoretical density matrix. The corresponding results are shown in Fig. 6c, where blue and red lines represent the fidelities of the “kitten” and “cat” states. The fidelity of the “cat” state falls faster than that of the “kitten” state, which illustrates that the large cat state is more fragile than the smaller one. Figure 6d shows the normalized detected probabilities of the OAM eigenstate with L = 0, 10, and 20, respectively. In Fig. 6c, d, each data point represents an average value of the results of ten simulations for the same turbulence strength. We found that the higher the OAM mode light was, the faster “decoherence” appeared. The simulation results given in our calculation are the same as those in ref. ^{52} using the rotation coherent function. Because of the mode dispersion, the aCS appears as if “decoherence” had occurred. However, the mode distortion induced by turbulence can be recovered by using adaptive optics^{53,54}. For visualization, we make a flash in Supplementary Movie 3 to present the overall dynamic process, including random phase, distributions for intensity and phase, and the spiral spectrum.
Discussion
To summarize, we have taken the first step toward simulating a wellcontrolled aCS using spatial OAM modes. In photonic OAM space, the aCS is easy to create, manipulate, and measure, and has a good coherence. In the preceding sections, the scheme proposed for the generation of the cat states has many advantages, the main two being that the size of the cat states can be expanded in the laboratory using linear optical elements and that the aCS has the ability to simulate the behaviors of optical qCS in phase space, i.e., movement, rotation, and interference. Therefore, the aCS provides an excellent “laboratory” in the classical world to study the behaviors of optical cat states in the quantum world.
In the future, the aCS can be easily expanded to the singlephoton level. On the one hand, the cat state can be postcreated via changing the inputs, for instance, using a heralded singlephoton source. On the other hand, it can be directly generated by the process of spontaneous parametric down conversion^{58}, with the help of the adaptive shaping technology^{59,60}. Because the cat state is encoded in spatial mode space with good coherence, the proposed source will support a new platform for studying cat statebased protocols, for example, the generation of entangled coherent states (Bellcat states) N_{±}(α〉−α〉±−α〉α〉) in OAM space with the help of a twodimensional entangled source. The entangled coherent state is a vital resource for cat statebased protocols, i.e., quantum teleportation and computation^{4,61}. Recently, some fundamental highdimensional quantum gates in OAM space have been constructed^{62,63,64}. Furthermore, the original scenario presented by Schrödinger’s cat describes an entangled system between a cat and an atom, i.e., \(\left \alpha \right\rangle \left \uparrow \right\rangle + \left {  \alpha } \right\rangle \left \downarrow \right\rangle\), where α〉 signifies the state of an alive or dead cat, and ↑, ↓〉 signifies the internal state of the atom^{65,66}. The thought experiment can be demonstrated easily in our regime; specifically, ↑, ↓〉 can be employed by the spin angular momentum (polarization) DOF of the photon. Additionally, the ability to generate such states is promising as it may allow us to explore the physics associated with cat states and simulate some new quantum Gedankenexperiments, such as those proposed in the recent debate about the extended Wigner’s Friend Paradox (Hardy’s paradox)^{67}.
Methods
Experimental details to achieve the cat states
For generating the cat states studied in this paper, the main technological challenge lies in how to effectively manipulate many asymmetric OAM modes, i.e., \(\mathop {\sum}\nolimits_{L = 0}^{50} {c_L} L\rangle\). Most previous studies were only able to demonstrate an asymmetric superposition of several OAM modes^{46,68}. In our regime, we successfully generated a superposed state of an arbitrary number of modes by revising the beam waists. The SLM was the only phasemodulation element used in the experiment, and each pixel could be imprinted with a gray map to modulate the phase of the incoming light (between 0 and 2π). We loaded the amplitudeencoded phase hologram onto the SLM to generate an aCS^{45,46,69}. For a single OAM eigenstate L〉 associated with an LG mode, \(LG_p^l(\rho ,\phi )\), the phase profile imprinted in the SLM is given by:
where M (0 ≤ M ≤ 1) is the normalized bound for the positive function of the amplitude; E_{l}(x, y) is an analytical function of the amplitude and phase profiles of the desired OAM field, and Λ(x, y) is the optical blazing phase for generating pure OAM states^{69}. To get the phase hologram of the a CS, we replaced the electric field E_{l}(x, y) with the desired superposed field in Eq. (1).
For the LG mode, the beam waist w(z) relates to the topological charge L. The standard deviation of the spatial distribution of the beam r_{rms} illustrates the divergence of the OAM fields^{70}. In the plane of the beam waist of z = 0, this radius should be \(r_{\mathrm{rms}}{\mathrm{(0)}} = \sqrt {L + 1/2} \cdot w_0\), where w_{0} is the beam waist of the input Gaussian beam. Thus, the hologram profiles of a largeL mode may exceed the size of the SLM, so we need to adjust the beam waist radius to match the input Gaussian beam. To match the diameters of the different illuminating beams, Kotlyar et al. state that the waist of the Gaussian beam and the radius of the circular aperture should be matched by making the first momenta of their intensity distribution, which gives rise to the analytic expression in ref. ^{71}. We implemented the inverse of this process and modified the beam waist w_{L}(z = 0) to
where n!! = 1 × 3 × 5…× n and L is the topological charge. In this situation, although the beam waists differ for a series of OAM modes, the orthogonality between them still holds true^{72}. Figure 7a shows the relationship between the waist ratios (w_{L}/w_{0}) and the OAM eigenstates; insets are several intensity distributions measured in the focus plane of the 4f system. Figure 7b shows the situation of the aCST as it evolves from 0 to \(\sqrt {30}\), where the beam waists w_{L} for different OAM modes obey Eq. (5). From Fig. 7b, one can see that the beam size of the aCST decreases as the size of the aCST increases and that the movement of the beam gradually reaches its limit (indicated by the green circle), which is set by the input Gaussian beam. Therefore, it is inevitable that a large aCS has a low reflection efficiency in its generation.
Details for testing the wavefront of the aCS
To study the wavefront of the aCS, we studied the interference between the sum of the GILs and a referenced beam. For the single pure vortex fields, the interference pattern was a Fork type grating^{42,73}, which depicts the wavefront with a screw dislocation. The setup for testing the wavefront of the aCS can be found in Supplementary Fig. 5, where a CCD was used to observe the interference patterns in port C or D. The theoretical interference patterns were calculated according to:
where \(\left\langle {\mathrm{Cylin}(r,\phi ,z)P} \right\rangle \left( { = E_0 \cdot {\mathrm{exp}}\left( {  i\left( {kz + y\sin \left( \theta \right)} \right)} \right)} \right)\) can be regarded as a plane wave and a is the attenuation factor of the neural attenuator. 〈Cylin(r, ϕ, z)Cat〉 is the electric field at the center of the BS, which can be calculated using the Collins diffraction integral formula^{74}. Other simulations and further results for the cat states can be found in the Supplementary Fig. 6.
Data availability
The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
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Acknowledgements
We thank Prof. Alexander Lvovsky and Barry C. Sanders of the University of Calgary for discussing the fundamental advantages and coherence of cat states. We also thank Prof. Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford for fruitful discussions; Prof. Uwe R. Fischer of the Seoul National University for discussing the stability of the cat state, and Dr. Kun Huang of the University of Shanghai Science and Technology for giving some suggestions to improve the quality of paper. This work is supported by The Anhui Initiative in Quantum Information Technologies (AHY020200); National Natural Science Foundation of China (61435011, 61525504, 61605194, 61775025, 61405030); China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2016M590570,2017M622003); Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities; National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFA0307400).
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S.L.L. conceived and designed the scheme for the classical analogy of a cat state; S.L.L., Q.Z., Z.Y.Z., and S.K.L. performed the experiment with assistance from Y.L. and Y.H. L. S.L.L. wrote the draft manuscript with the help from B.S. S. Q.Z. polished the language in English. All authors discussed the results, and implications, and commented on the manuscript. Z.Y.Z., G.C.G, and B.S.S. supervised the project.
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Liu, SL., Zhou, Q., Liu, SK. et al. Classical analogy of a cat state using vortex light. Commun Phys 2, 75 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s4200501901562
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