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Taming multi-THz classical and quantum light toward time-domain quantum spectroscopy

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Date and time Sep 22, 2017
from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Location 60 St. George Street, MP 408
Host John Sipe

Denis Seletskiy

Polytechnique Montreal


It can be argued that the modern aim of ultrafast science is to enable dynamic control of condensed matter with light. The multi-THz frequency band is particularly attractive as it spans over many fundamental collective excitations in solid state. I will demonstrate synthesis of multi-THz coherent state wavepackets with polar asymmetry on a sub-cycle timescale [1]. By focusing such transients within a gap between gold contacts deposited on a narrow-gap semiconductor InSb, we controlled the induced current by polar asymmetry of light [2]. Next, I will present analysis of mult-THz quantum fields with sub-cycle resolution. At the ultimate sensitivity limit, electro-optic detection can access local fluctuations of quantum fields [3]. Furthermore, we can modify the multi-THz vacuum state by acting on it with a strong control pulse, co-propagating in a second nonlinear crystal. In this case, we imprint strong deviations of the statistics of the local quantum field above and below the vacuum level [4]. While the demonstrated ability to detect bare and squeezed vacuum states lays the foundation for a new approach to subcycle physics, current work is underway to improve the methodology toward the ultimate goal of time-domain quantum spectroscopy.


[1] C. Schmidt et al., J. Opt. 18, 05LT01 (2016).

[2] J. Bühler et al., J. Infrared Milli. Terahz. Waves 38, 808-812 (2017).

[3] C. Riek et al., Science 350, 420 (2015); A. S. Moskalenko et al., PRL 115, 263601 (2015).

[4] C. Riek et al., Nature 541, 376 (2017).

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