Topological qubits as carriers of quantum information in optics

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© 2019 by the authors. Winding number is a topologically significant quantity that has found valuable applications in various areas of mathematical physics. Here, topological qubits are shown capable of formation from winding number superpositions and so of being used in the communication of quantum information in linear optical systems, the most common realm for quantum communication. In particular, it is shown that winding number qubits appear in several aspects of such systems, including quantum electromagnetic states of spin, momentum, orbital angular momentum, polarization of beams of particles propagating in free-space, optical fiber, beam splitters, and optical multiports.