To capture a single photon, researchers create an interfering “wall”

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Photons are the foundation of many next-generation quantum technologies, such as ultra-secure quantum communications and quantum computers that have the potential to change games.

That’s these Light particles It can be intertwined and superposed. There are two quantum states that enable quantum technology.

However, to create these states, researchers need to deal with a very non-classical type of light with a small number of photons, or only one. photon.. This can be a daunting task that requires complex settings, as common light sources (such as lasers) always produce conditions that can have a large number of photons.

Theorists at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago have developed a new scheme for trapping single photons. cavity.. These mechanisms create a “wall” in which the two light sources emit a selected number of photons into the cavity, essentially preventing further photon intrusion, before destructive interference cancels out both light sources. I can do it.

This new mechanism may provide an easier way to create quantum light without the complex materials and systems normally required.

The study, led by Professor Aashish Clerk and graduate students Andrew Lingenfelter and David Roberts, took place on November 26th. Science Advances..

Create a “wall” of interference

A typical system for trapping a single photon in a cavity involves using a material with very large optical non-linearity, which causes the photons in the cavity to interact strongly with each other.In such a system, the cavity Resonance frequency You can make a strong shift by adding just one photon. Then, when you shine a laser on the cavity, one photon can enter, but the second photon cannot (due to the frequency shift produced by the first photon).

The problem with this mechanism is that it requires very large optical non-linearities and very low dissipation. This is a very difficult, if not impossible, combination to achieve on most platforms.

The system proposed by the clerk’s research team uses two different sources to simultaneously emit photons into a cavity with very weak non-linearity (too weak for the traditional approach to work). With careful adjustment, when a selected number of photons are captured in the cavity, these sources cancel each other out with destructive interference, creating a “wall” that blocks the photons.

Potential applications are diverse.use Destructive interference This means that the system does not need to use special optically non-linear materials. This opens the door to several different platforms, such as quantum simulation tools.

The basic mechanism can be applied not only to visible light, but to all kinds of electromagnetic radiation. One of the exciting possibilities is to use it to generate and control microwave frequency photons in superconducting circuits. This may enable new ways to store and process quantum information. A group of clerk is currently working with experimenters to implement this scheme to do just that.

He and his collaborators are looking at the system as a potential way to entangle photons. Observing a single photon automatically provides information about the intertwined photons, no matter how far they are.

“I think this scheme works on many different systems,” Clark said. “If no special material is needed, it really opens up the possibilities of optical-based quantum technology.”

Scientists will only be able to interact with photons with a pair of atoms

For more information:
Andrew Lingenfelter et al, generation of unconditional Fock states using arbitrarily weak photonic nonlinearity, Science Advances (2021). DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.abj1916

Quote: To capture a single photon, researchers obtained the interference “wall” from on December 3, 2021 ( December 3, 2021) will be created

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To capture a single photon, researchers create an interfering “wall”

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