Controllable Quantum Light Generated by Correlated Emitters

A team of international researchers from the University of Cambridge, the US, Israel, and Austria, have developed a theory for generating high-energy ‘quantum light’ using correlated emitters and a strong laser. The team, led by Dr Andrea Pizzi of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory and Alexey Gorlach of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, has published their findings in the journal Nature Physics.

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The research solves the many-body problem in quantum physics and demonstrates that by using correlated emitters, a new state of controllable quantum light can be generated. This light, with controllable quantum properties over a broad range of frequencies, has the potential to revolutionize microscopy and quantum computation techniques.

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Dr Pizzi explains that while light can mostly be described by classical physics, “at the micro and nanoscale so-called quantum fluctuations start playing a role and classical physics cannot account for them.” The team’s research shows that the quantum fluctuations in quantum light can be structured and potentially more useful if the emitters are not independent but correlated.

The team used a combination of theoretical analysis and computer simulations to arrive at a compact equation that describes the connection between the output light and the input correlations. The results demonstrate that the method generates high-energy output light and could even be used to engineer the quantum-optical structure of X-rays.

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The team is now seeking collaborations with experimentalists to validate their predictions and broaden the scope of their research to investigate many-body systems as a resource for generating quantum light. The research was supported by the Royal Society and Dr Pizzi is currently a Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge.

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