Abstract

Polarization of light has many applications in quantum information processing, including quantum teleportation and dense coding. In this paper, we investigate the polarization fluctuations of Airy beams propagating in a slant turbulent channel under the “few-photon” limit. Using the quantum Stokes parameters and the quantum degree of polarization, we demonstrate that the degree of polarization of Airy beams increases significantly with the large number of the detection photons, and a higher photon-number level can retain the stability of polarization. Numerical simulations show that the longer propagation distance and the stronger turbulence will lead to less oscillatory behaviors and a decrease in the polarization degree of Airy beams, but a bigger exponential truncation factor will cause an increase in the polarization degree of Airy beams. In contrast with Gaussian beams, the degree of polarization of Airy beams is less affected by atmospheric turbulence and propagation distance under the same conditions, which means that Airy beams possess a resilient ability against turbulence-induced perturbations. These results indicate that Airy beams have great potential for applications in long-distance free-space optical communications to improve the performance of a polarization-encoded free-space quantum communication system.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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