The discovery of polaritons of matter and waves sheds new light on photon quantum technology

Physics of nature (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41567-022-01565-4 “width =” 800 “height =” 530″/>

Experimental scheme and polariton formation. Credit: Physics of nature (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41567-022-01565-4

The development of experimental platforms advancing the field of quantum science and technology (QIST) has a unique set of benefits and challenges common to any new technology. Researchers at Stony Brook University, led by Ph.D. The researchers believe that their new quasiparticles, which mimic highly interacting photons in materials and devices but circumvent some of the inherent problems, will benefit the further development of QIST platforms that are poised to transform computing and communication technologies.

The findings are detailed in an article published in Physics of nature.

The study sheds light on the fundamental properties of polaritons and related phenomena of many bodies, and opens up new possibilities for the study of polariton quantum matter.

An important issue with photon-based QIST platforms is that while photons can be ideal carriers of quantum information, they do not usually interact with each other. The lack of such interactions also hinders the controlled exchange of quantum information between them. Scientists have found a way around this by combining photons with heavier excitations in materials, thus forming polaritons, chimera-like hybrids of light and matter. Collisions between these heavier quasiparticles make it possible for photons to interact effectively. This may allow the implementation of photon-based quantum operations and, ultimately, the entire QIST infrastructure.

However, the main problem is the limited lifetime of these photon-based polaritons due to their radiation contact with the environment, leading to uncontrolled spontaneous decay and decoherence.

The discovery of polaritons of matter and waves sheds new light on photon quantum technology

The artistic representation of the results of the polariton study shows the atoms in the optical lattice that form the insulating phase (left); atoms that are transformed into polaritons of matter-wave through a vacuum bond mediated by microwave radiation represented by green (center); polaritons become mobile and form a superfluid phase for strong vacuum bonding (right). Credit: Alfonso Lanuz / Schneble Laboratory / Stony Brook University.

According to Schnebel and his colleagues, their published studies of polaritons completely circumvent such limitations caused by spontaneous decay. The photonic aspects of their polaritons are completely transported by waves of atomic matter, for which such undesirable decay processes do not exist. This feature opens access to parameter modes that are not available or are not yet available in photon-based polarity systems.

“The development of quantum mechanics dominated the last century, and the ‘second quantum revolution’ in the development of QIST and its applications is now taking place around the world, including corporations such as IBM, Google and Amazon,” said Schneble, a professor of physics. and astronomy at the College of Arts and Sciences. “Our work highlights some fundamental quantum mechanical effects of interest to new photonic quantum systems in QIST, ranging from semiconductor nanophotonics to quantum electrodynamics.”

Researchers at Stony Brook conducted their experiments with a platform with ultra-cold atoms in an optical grid, a potential egg-like landscape formed by standing waves of light. Using a special vacuum apparatus with different lasers and control fields and operating at nanokelvin temperature, they implemented a scenario in which atoms trapped in the lattice “dress” in clouds of vacuum excitations made of delicate waves of turmoil.

The team found that as a result, polaritonic particles become much more mobile. The researchers were able to directly investigate their internal structure by gently shaking the lattice, thus gaining access to the contribution of matter waves and the excitation of the atomic lattice. When left alone, the polaritons of the matter-waves jump through the lattice, interact with each other and form stable phases of quasiparticles.

“With the help of our experiment, we conducted a quantum modeling of the exciton-polariton system in the new mode,” explains Schneble. “The desire to perform such ‘analog’ simulations, which in addition are ‘analogues’ in the sense that the relevant parameters can be freely typed, is in itself an important area within QIST.”

Stony Brook’s study included graduate students from Junjok Kwon (currently a graduate student at Sandia National Laboratory), Yonshin Kim and Alphonse Lanuz.


Improved interaction due to the strong combination of light and matter


Additional information:
Joonhyuk Kwon et al, Formation of polaritons of matter-waves in an optical lattice, Physics of nature (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41567-022-01565-4

Provided by Stony Brook University

Citation: The discovery of matter-wave polaritons sheds new light on photon quantum technology (2022, April 6), obtained April 7, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-04-discovery-matter-wave-polaritons -photonic-quantum .html

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