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Concept# Quantum vacuum state

Summary

In quantum field theory, the quantum vacuum state (also called the quantum vacuum or vacuum state) is the quantum state with the lowest possible energy. Generally, it contains no physical particles. The term zero-point field is sometimes used as a synonym for the vacuum state of a quantized field which is completely individual.
According to present-day understanding of what is called the vacuum state or the quantum vacuum, it is "by no means a simple empty space". According to quantum mechanics, the vacuum state is not truly empty but instead contains fleeting electromagnetic waves and particles that pop into and out of the quantum field.
The QED vacuum of quantum electrodynamics (or QED) was the first vacuum of quantum field theory to be developed. QED originated in the 1930s, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s it was reformulated by Feynman, Tomonaga, and Schwinger, who jointly received the Nobel prize for this work in 1965. Today the electromagnetic interactions and the weak

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With the development of quantum optics, photon correlations acquired a prominent role as a tool to test our understanding of physics, and played a key role in verifying the validity of quantum mechanics. The spatial and temporal correlations in a light field also reveal information about its origin, and allow us to probe the nature of the physical systems interacting with it. Additionally, with the advent of quantum technologies, they have acquired technological relevance, as they are expected to play an important role in quantum communication and quantum information processing.This thesis develops techniques that combine spontaneous Raman scattering with Time Correlated Single Photon Counting, and uses them to study the quantum mechanical nature of high frequency vibrations in crystals and molecules. We demonstrate photon bunching in the Stokes and anti-Stokes fields scattered from two ultrafast laser pulses, and use their cross-correlation to measure the 3.9 ps decay time of the optical phonon in diamond. We then employ this method to measure molecular vibrations in CS2, where we are able to excite the respective vibrational modes of the two isotopic species present in the sample in a coherent superposition, and observe quantum beating between the two signals. Stokes scattering, when combined with a projective measurement, leads to a well defined quantum state. We demonstrate this by measuring the second order correlation function of the anti-Stokes field conditional on detecting one or more photons in the Stokes field, which allows us to observe a phonon modeâs transition form a thermal state into the first excited Fock state, and measure its decay over the characteristic phonon lifetime. Finally, we use this technique to prepare a highly entangled photon-phonon state, which violates a Bell-type inequality. We measure S = 2.360 Â± 0.025, violating the CHSH inequality, compatible with the non-locality of the state.The techniques we developed open the door to the study of a broad range of physical systems, where spectroscopic information is obtained with the preparation of specific quantum states. They also hold potential for future technological use, and promote vibrational Raman scattering to a resource in nonlinear quantum optics -- where it used to be considered as a source of noise instead.

András Bojtor, Karoly Holczer, Sándor Kollarics, Bence Gábor Márkus, Ferenc Simon

Combined microwave-optical pump-probe methods are emerging to study the quantum state of spin qubit centers and the charge dynamics in semiconductors. A major hindrance is the limited bandwidth of microwave irradiation/detection circuitry which can be overcome with the use of broadband coplanar waveguides (CPWs). The development and performance characterization of two spectrometers is presented as follows: an optically detected magnetic resonance spectrometer (ODMR) and a microwave-detected photoconductivity measurement. In the first method, light serves as detection and microwaves excite the investigated medium, whereas in the second, the roles are interchanged. The performance is demonstrated by measuring ODMR maps on the nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center in diamond and time-resolved photoconductivity in p-doped silicon. The results demonstrate both an efficient coupling of the microwave irradiation to the samples as well as an excellent sensitivity for minute changes in sample conductivity.

Daniele Brunetti, Guillermo Bustos Ramirez, Wilfred Anthony Cooper, Jonathan Graves, Andreas Kleiner

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