Squeezing of a nonlocal photon fluid

Quantum fluids of light are an emerging tool employed in quantum many-body physics. Their amazing properties and versatility allow using them in a wide variety of fields including gravitation, quantum information, and simulation. However the implications of the quantum nature of light in nonlinear optical propagation are still missing many features. We theoretically predict classical spontaneous squeezing of a photon fluid in a nonlocal nonlinear medium. By using the so called Gamow vectors, we show that the quadratures of a coherent state get squeezed and that a maximal squeezing power exists. Our analysis holds true for temporal and spatial optical propagation in a highly nonlocal regime. These results lead to advances in the quantum photon fluids research and may inspire applications in fields like metrology and analogs of quantum gravity.

M.C.Braidotti, A. Mecozzi, C. Conti, Phys. Rev. A 96, 043823 (2017)

Quantum Simulation of Rainbow Gravity

Rainbow gravity modifies general relativity by introducing an energy dependent metric, which is expected to have a role in the quantum theory of black holes and in quantum gravity at Planck energy scale. We show that rainbow gravity can be simulated in the laboratory by nonlinear waves in nonlocal media, as those occurring in Bose-condensed gases and nonlinear optics. We reveal that at a classical level, a nonlocal nonlinear Schr\”odinger equation may emulate the curved space time in proximity of a rotating black hole as dictated by the rainbow gravity scenario. We also demonstrate that a fully quantized analysis is possible. By the positive $\mathcal{P}$-representation, we study superradiance and show that the instability of a black-hole and the existence of an event horizon are inhibited by an energy dependent metric. Our results open the way to a number of fascinating experimental tests of quantum gravity theories and quantum field theory in curved manifolds, and also demonstrate that these theories may be novel tools for open problems in nonlinear quantum physics.

The picture below shows spectra and configuration of particles trapped in a quantum simulation of a black-hole.

Braidotti and Conti, in ArXiv:1708.02623

Topological cascade laser for frequency comb generation in PT-symmetric structures

The cascade of resonant topological structures with PT-symmetry breaking is shown to emit laser light with a frequency-comb spectrum. We consider optically active topological Aubry-Andr\’e-Harper lattices supporting edge-modes at regularly spaced frequencies. When the amplified resonances in the PT-broken regime match the edge modes of the topological gratings, we predict the emission of discrete laser lines. A proper design enables to engineer the spectral features for specific applications. The robustness of the topological protection makes the system very well suited for a novel generation of compact frequency comb emitters for spectroscopy, metrology, and quantum information.

Pilozzi and Conti, arXiv:1707.09191

Phase-matching-free parametric oscillators based on two dimensional semiconductors

Optical parametric oscillators are widely-used pulsed and continuous-wave tunable sources for innumerable applications, as in quantum technologies, imaging and biophysics. A key drawback is material dispersion imposing the phase-matching condition that generally entails a complex setup design, thus hindering tunability and miniaturization. Here we show that the burden of phase-matching is surprisingly absent in parametric micro-resonators adopting monolayer transition-metal dichalcogenides as quadratic nonlinear materials. By the exact solution of nonlinear Maxwell equations and first-principle calculation of the semiconductor nonlinear response, we devise a novel kind of phase-matching-free miniaturized parametric oscillator operating at conventional pump intensities. We find that different two-dimensional semiconductors yield degenerate and non-degenerate emission at various spectral regions thanks to doubly-resonant mode excitation, which can be tuned through the incidence angle of the external pump laser. In addition we show that high-frequency electrical modulation can be achieved by doping through electrical gating that efficiently shifts the parametric oscillation threshold. Our results pave the way for new ultra-fast tunable micron-sized sources of entangled photons, a key device underpinning any quantum protocol. Highly-miniaturized optical parametric oscillators may also be employed in lab-on-chip technologies for biophysics, environmental pollution detection and security.

Ciattoni, Marini, Rizza, Conti in arXiv:1707.08843

Glauber oscillator and time travel

The standard quantum mechanics does not forbid time-travel. However, some alternative formulations (based on the so called “rigged Hilbert space”) include irreversibility as a fundamental principle: a quantum particle that decays cannot travel back in time.

There are not direct evidences of the irreversibility of decay processes, but the new quantum mechanics predicts that the decay rates are quantized.

If one observes the quantization of the decay rates, one can claim to have provided experimental support to the irreversible formulation of quantum mechanics.

In simple terms, one can claim that time-travel is not possible at the quantum level (…and also at the classical level).

Silvia Gentilini, Maria Chiara Braidotti, Giulia Marcucci, Eugenio Del Re, and Claudio Conti simulated in the laboratory one of the simplest models of the irreversible quantum mechanics, that follows an original proposal of Glauber. A laser beam emulates a quantum particle in a reversed harmonic oscillator, as a result the first experimental evidence of the quantization of decay time is reported in a paper published in Scientific Reports.

(reprint from the former complexlight.org website)