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Q-FARM presents "Free-Electron Quantum Optics"

Free-Electron Quantum Optics
Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - 10:00am
Meeting ID: 987 676 025 (+ password)
Prof. Ido Kaminer (Technion –­­ Israel Institute of Technology)
Abstract / Description: 

Research of cavity quantum electrodynamics (CQED) has enabled new capabilities in quantum optics, quantum computation, and various quantum technologies. So far, all the work in this field has included light interacting with bound-electron systems such as atoms, quantum dots, and quantum circuits. In contrast, free-electron systems enable fundamentally different physical phenomena, as their energy distribution is continuous and not discrete, and allow for tunable transitions and selection rules.

We have developed a platform for studying free-electron CQED at the nanoscale and demonstrated it by observing coherent electron interaction with a photonic cavity for the first time. Our platform includes femtosecond lasers in an ultrafast transmission electron microscope, which created what is, in many respects, the most powerful nearfield optical microscope in the world today. We resolve photonic bandstructures as a function of energy, momentum, and polarization, simultaneously with capturing the spatial distribution of the photonic modes at deep-subwavelength resolution.

These capabilities open new paths toward using free electrons as carriers of quantum information. As examples, we show how to create free-electron qubits and implement quantum gates with femtosecond lasers. We further show how to measure quantum decoherence in space and time using the free-electron quantum interactions. Such interactions also enable new avenues for tunable X-ray sources, as we demonstrate with theory and experiments.


Ido Kaminer joined the Technion as an assistant professor and an Azrieli Faculty Fellow in March 2018, after a postdoc at MIT as a Rothschild Fellow, MIT-Technion Fellow, and a Marie Curie Fellow. In his PhD, Ido discovered new classes of accelerating beams in nonlinear optics and electromagnetism, for which he received the 2012 Israel Physical Society Prize, and the 2014 APS (American Physical Society) Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Laser Science. Ido was the first Israeli to ever win an APS award for his PhD thesis. He currently holds the Technion's Jacques Lewiner Career Advancement Chair – Leaders in Science and Technology. Ido won multiple awards and grants recently, including the GIF Young Scientists Grant and the ERC Starting Grant.

Ido's research is focused on applications of quantum electrodynamics (QED) to address fundamental and applied problems in Optics, Photonics, Plasmonics and Electron Microscopy. He develops tools of QED to predict new phenomena that arise from engineering the wavefunctions of matter and of photons in specific ways that yield physical situations not encountered in natural settings. Ido's group employs femtosecond lasers and electron microscopes for new kinds of experiments. They study light-matter interactions in nanophotonics and in 2D material platforms, with applications for novel light sources and ultrafast detectors