Visualization of correlations in hybrid discrete—continuous variable quantum systems

In this work we construct Wigner functions for hybrid continuous and discrete variable quantum systems. We demonstrate new capabilities in the visualization of the interactions and correlations between discrete and continuous variable quantum systems, where visualizing the full phase space has proven difficult in the past due to the high number of degrees of freedom. Specifically, we show how to clearly distinguish signatures that arise due to quantum and classical correlations in an entangled Bellcat state. We further show how correlations are manifested in different types of interaction, leading to a deeper understanding of how quantum information is shared between two subsystems. Understanding the nature of the correlations between systems is central to harnessing quantum effects for information processing; the methods presented here reveal the nature of these correlations, allowing a clear visualization of the quantum information present in these hybrid discrete-continuous variable quantum systems. The methods presented here could be viewed as a form of quantum state spectroscopy.