Quantum nonlinear optics: controlling few-photon interactions
Venkatramani, Aditya Vignesh
MetadataShow full item record
CitationVenkatramani, Aditya Vignesh. 2020. Quantum nonlinear optics: controlling few-photon interactions. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
AbstractMost phenomena around us can be explained by classical optics since photons interact weakly with atoms. When the interaction is strong enough where one photon affects the properties of other photons, we go to the regime of quantum photon-photon nonlinear optics. The work in this thesis explores this regime of physics. This paves the path to exploring strongly interacting many-body physics with photons which is still a largely unexplored domain. The ability to control strongly interacting photons is also of central importance in quantum science and engineering. We use the approach of Electromagnetically Induced Transparency (EIT) in atomic ensembles to create strong interactions and demonstrate coherent control between single photons. Using EIT, we coherently map single photons onto the atoms which travel as coupled excitations of light and matter called dark-state polaritons. When the medium is optically dense, the polariton propagates as a massive particle with a velocity that is much smaller than the speed of light. These polaritons interact with each other via their atomic component. In this thesis, we show robust symmetry-protected collisions between photons that imprint a large phase of π/2 with little loss and extend the nature of photon-photon interactions to the repulsive regime, which are essential for quantum communication and metrology. We use the technique of photon blockade to make a fast optical detector of Rydberg states, directly demonstrating the use of quantum nonlinear optics for quantum computation. We also study the extensions of the attractive and repulsive photons for three particles shedding light into the formation of bound states and crystals of photons and paving the way to studying many-body physics of photons.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37369461
- FAS Theses and Dissertations