Observing fermionic statistics with photons in arbitrary processes

Jonathan C.F. Matthews, Konstantinos Poulios, Jasmin D.A. Meinecke, Alberto Politi, Alberto Peruzzo, Nur Ismail, Kerstin Wörhoff, Mark G. Thompson, Jeremy L. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Web of Science)


Quantum mechanics defines two classes of particles-bosons and fermions-whose exchange statistics fundamentally dictate quantum dynamics. Here we develop a scheme that uses entanglement to directly observe the correlated detection statistics of any number of fermions in any physical process. This approach relies on sending each of the entangled particles through identical copies of the process and by controlling a single phase parameter in the entangled state, the correlated detection statistics can be continuously tuned between bosonic and fermionic statistics. We implement this scheme via two entangled photons shared across the polarisation modes of a single photonic chip to directly mimic the fermion, boson and intermediate behaviour of two-particles undergoing a continuous time quantum walk. The ability to simulate fermions with photons is likely to have applications for verifying boson scattering and for observing particle correlations in analogue simulation using any physical platform that can prepare the entangled state prescribed here.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1539
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


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