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We demonstrate that when a waveguide beam splitter (BS) is excited by N indistinguishable photons, the arising multiphoton states evolve in a way as if they were coupled to each other with coupling strengths that are identical to the ones exhibited by a discrete fractional Fourier system. Based on the properties of the fractional Fourier transform, we then derive a multiphoton suppression law for 50/50 BSs, thereby generalizing the Hong–Ou–Mandel effect. Furthermore, we examine the possibility of performing simultaneous multiphoton quantum random walks by using a single waveguide BS in combination with photon-number-resolving detectors. We anticipate that the multiphoton lattice-like structures unveiled in this work will be useful to identify new effects and applications of high-dimensional multiphoton states.

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Journal of the Optical Society of America B: Optical Physics

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