All-optical Stern-Gerlach effect in the time domain

Gil Bashan, Avishay Eyal, Moshe Tur, And A.D.Y. Arie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Stern-Gerlach experiment, a seminal quantum physics experiment, demonstrated the intriguing phenomenon of particle spin quantization, leading to applications in matter-wave interferometry and weak-value measurements. Over the years, several optical experiments have exhibited similar behavior to the Stern-Gerlach experiment, revealing splitting in both spatial and angular domains. Here we show, theoretically and experimentally, that the Stern-Gerlach effect can be extended into the time and frequency domains. By harnessing Kerr nonlinearity in optical fibers, we couple signal and idler pulses using two pump pulses, resulting in the emergence of two distinct eigenstates whereby the signal and idler are either in phase or out of phase. This nonlinear coupling emulates a synthetic magnetization, and by varying it linearly in time, one eigenstate deflects towards a higher frequency, while the other deflects towards a lower frequency. This effect can be utilized to realize an all-optical, phase-sensitive frequency beam splitter, establishing a new paradigm for classical and quantum data processing of frequency-bin superposition states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9589-9601
Number of pages13
JournalOptics Express
Issue number6
StatePublished - 11 Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes

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