## Abstract

Quantum algorithms can potentially overcome the boundary of computationally hard problems. One of the cornerstones in modern optics is the beam propagation algorithm, facilitating the calculation of how waves with a particular dispersion relation propagate in time and space. This algorithm solves the wave propagation equation by Fourier transformation, multiplication with a transfer function, and subsequent back transformation. This transfer function is determined from the respective dispersion relation, which can often be expanded as a polynomial. In the case of paraxial wave propagation in free space or picosecond pulse propagation, this expansion can be truncated after the quadratic term. The classical solution to the wave propagation requires O ( NlogN ) computation steps, where N is the number of points into which the wave function is discretized. Here, we show that the propagation can be performed as a quantum algorithm with O logN 2 single-controlled phase gates, indicating exponentially reduced computational complexity. We herein demonstrate this quantum beam propagation method (QBPM) and perform such propagation in both one- and two-dimensional systems for the double-slit experiment and Gaussian beam propagation. We highlight the importance of the selection of suitable observables to retain the quantum advantage in the face of the statistical nature of the quantum measurement process, which leads to sampling errors that do not exist in classical solutions.

Original language | English |
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Article number | 045110 |

Journal | Physica Scripta |

Volume | 99 |

Issue number | 4 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 1 Apr 2024 |