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Quantum transport in fractal networks
Nature Photonics  (IF38.771),  Pub Date : 2021-07-19, DOI: 10.1038/s41566-021-00845-4
Xiao-Yun Xu, Xiao-Wei Wang, Dan-Yang Chen, C. Morais Smith, Xian-Min Jin

Fractals are fascinating, not only for their aesthetic appeal but also for allowing the investigation of physical properties in non-integer dimensions. In these unconventional systems, many intrinsic features might come into play, including the fractal dimension and the fractal geometry. Despite abundant theoretical studies, experiments in fractal networks remain elusive. Here we experimentally investigate quantum transport in fractal networks by performing continuous-time quantum walks in fractal photonic lattices. We unveil the transport properties through the photon evolution patterns, the mean square displacement and the Pólya number. Contrarily to classical fractals, we observe anomalous transport governed solely by the fractal dimension. In addition, the critical point at which there is a transition from normal to anomalous transport depends on the fractal geometry. Our experiment allows the verification of physical laws in a quantitative manner and reveals the transport dynamics in great detail, thus opening a path to the understanding of more complex quantum phenomena governed by fractality.