Seminar über Quanten-, Atom- und Neutronenphysik (QUANTUM)

Jan. 23, 2020 at 2 p.m. c.t. in Lorentz-Raum (05-127), Staudingerweg 7

Prof. Dr. Peter van Loock
Institut für Physik

Dr. Lars von der Wense
Institut für Physik

Spontaneous parametric down-conversion: from faint to bright and back
Dr. Maria Chekhova (Institut für Optik, Information und Photonik, Universität Erlangen)

Spontaneous parametric down-conversion is the workhorse of quantum optics. This process is used to generate entangled photon pairs and heralded single photons. When strongly pumped, spontaneous parametric down-conversion generates so many photon pairs that they overlap and form radiation with almost laser brightness. Despite being bright, this radiation manifests nonclassical effects: quadrature squeezing, photon-number correlations, and macroscopic entanglement. It has no coherent component and can be considered as amplified vacuum noise; it is therefore often called bright squeezed vacuum. In addition, strong photon-number fluctuations of bright squeezed vacuum make it extremely efficient for pumping multiphoton effects.
My talk will cover this and other applications of strongly pumped parametric down-conversion. In addition, I will talk about the other extreme case of this process. Namely, if photon pairs are generated in a very thin nonlinear layer, the process does not require phase matching – in other words, the momentum of the pump photon is not conserved by the daughter photons. To demonstrate this, I will show the results of generating photon pairs from a 300 nm layer. This nanoscale generation of entangled photons offers unique radiative characteristics: the frequency-angular spectrum is extremely broad and as such it promises subwavelength and subcycle two-photon correlation widths in position and time, respectively. Additionally, it gives an insight into the subwavelength resonances for vacuum fluctuations.