Interacting Photons

In the Interacting Photons group, we  investigate phenomena emerging from optical nonlinearity and noise. Our experiments are based on tunable microcavities  filled with organic or inorganic materials. We use these systems to explore fundamental physics of non-equilibrium phase transitions, noise-assisted transport, non-Markovian dynamics, and quantum simulation. We are also interested in applications of nonlinear optical systems, such as isolators, sensors, and analog computers & simulators. Below are described some current research directions in the group.



Nonlinear, stochastic, and quantum dynamics of light

Driven nonlinear dynamical systems can reside in two steady states at a single driving condition. This feature, known as bistability, is associated with emergent phenomena in phase transitions, scaling, and universal behavior.  In the Interacting Photons group, we use bistable optical cavities to explore the physics of scaling, universality, and non-Markovian dynamics. In Ref. [1] we discovered a universal scaling law for the dynamic hysteresis of a Kerr nonlinear cavity influenced by quantum fluctuations. More recently, in Ref. [2]  we discovered a universal scaling law for the hysteresis area of a cavity  with effective non-instantaneous interactions.  We have also been exploring the interplay of noise and memory in this system, which leads to rich non-Markovian dynamics.



[1] S. R. K. Rodriguez et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 247402 (2017). pdf

[2] Z. Geng et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 124, 153063 (2020). pdf


Photonic devices

We are currently interested in realizing photonic devices where optical nonlinearity and noise are a resource rather than a nuisance. For example, in Ref. [1] we showed how the detection speed and sensitivity of a nonlinear optical sensor  can be enhanced with noise.  In Ref. [2] we showed how to realize a nonlinear optical isolator with zero reflection.


[1] S.R.K. Rodriguez
Enhancing the speed and sensitivity of a nonlinear optical sensor with noise
Phys. Rev. Applied 13, 024032 (2020). pdf

[2] S.R.K. Rodriguez, V. Goblot, N. Carlon Zambon, A. Amo, and J. Bloch
Non-reciprocity and zero reflection in nonlinear cavities with tailored loss
Phys. Rev. A 99, 013851 (2019). pdf