Quantum Lunch Location:
T-Division Conference Room, TA-3,
Building 123, Room 121
Quantum Institute: Visitor Schedule
The Quantum Lunch is regularly held on Thursdays in the Theoretical Division Conference Room, TA-3, Building 123, Room 121. For more information, contact Diego Dalvit, T-13.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
12:30 PM to 2 PM
Speaker: Yves Pomeau, ENS Paris and CNLS Ulam Scholar
Technical Host: David Roberts
TOPIC: Quantum tunneling of optical solitons
Although the end of the word "soliton" refers implicitly to a particle-like behavior, it is far from obvious that solitons can perform the same kind of thing as real physical quantum particles. One fundamental property of such a quantum particle is the possibility of tunneling between two (or eventually more) classical ground states. An interesting possible way to observe such a tunneling with solitons is in coupled optical fibers. Classically (ie without quantum effects) if the coupling is weak a soliton may propagate in either of the fibers without ever switching to the other. This makes a classical system with two equivalent ground states, each corresponding to the soliton in one or the other fiber. Surprisingly, in realistic situations, the quantum fluctuations can yield a rather short length of quantum transfer by tunneling from one fiber to the other. Because the inelastic interactions between light and the material of the fiber can be made very weak, one could even reach a regime where this fiber to fiber transfer is coherent. This opens the way to a large increase of the sensitivity of devices based on the interferences between the quantum state in the coupled fibers.