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The existing methods for measuring the orbital-angular-momentum (OAM) spectrum suffer from issues such as poor efficiency, strict interferometric stability requirements, and too much loss. Furthermore, most techniques inevitably discard part of the field and measure only a post-selected portion of the true spectrum. Here, we propose and demonstrate an interferometric technique for measuring the true OAM spectrum of optical fields in a single-shot manner. Our technique directly encodes the OAM-spectrum information in the azimuthal intensity profile of the output interferogram. In the absence of noise, the spectrum can be fully decoded using a single acquisition of the output interferogram, and, in the presence of noise, acquisition of two suitable interferograms is sufficient for the purpose. As an important application of our technique, we demonstrate measurements of the angular Schmidt spectrum of the entangled photons produced by parametric down-conversion and report a broad spectrum with the angular Schmidt number 82.1.

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Nature Communications