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Unit# Laboratory of theoretical physics of nanosystems

Laboratory

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Polariton

In physics, polaritons pəˈlærᵻtɒnz,_poʊ- are quasiparticles resulting from strong coupling of electromagnetic waves with an electric or magnetic dipole-carrying excitation. They are an expression of

Photonic crystal

A photonic crystal is an optical nanostructure in which the refractive index changes periodically. This affects the propagation of light in the same way that the structure of natural crystals give

Bose–Einstein condensate

In condensed matter physics, a Bose–Einstein condensate (BEC) is a state of matter that is typically formed when a gas of bosons at very low densities is cooled to temperatures very close to absolut

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Fabrizio Minganti, Riccardo Rota, Vincenzo Savona, Kilian Robert Seibold

Dissipative Kerr solitons arising from parametric gain in ring microresonators are usually described within a classical mean-field framework. Here, we develop a quantum-mechanical model of dissipative Kerr solitons in terms of the Lindblad master equation and study the model via the truncated Wigner method, which accounts for quantum effects to leading order. We show that, within this open quantum system framework, the soliton experiences a finite coherence time due to quantum fluctuations originating from losses. Reading the results in terms of the theory of open quantum systems allows us to estimate the Liouvillian spectrum of the system. It is characterized by a set of eigenvalues with a finite imaginary part and a vanishing real part in the limit of vanishing quantum fluctuations. This feature shows that dissipative Kerr solitons are a specific class of dissipative time crystals.

The exploration of open quantum many-body systems -systems of microscopic size exhibiting quantum coherence and interacting with their surrounding- has emerged as a key research area over the last years. The recent advances in controlling and preserving quantum coherence at the level of a single particle, developed in a wide variety of physical platforms, have been a major driving force in this field. The driven dissipative nature is a common characteristic of a wide class of modern experimental platforms in quantum science and technology, such as photonic systems, ultracold atoms, optomechanical systems, or superconducting circuits. The interplay between the coherent quantum dynamics and dissipation in open quantum systems leads to a wide range of novel out-of-equilibrium behaviours. Among them, the emergence in these systems of dynamical phases with novel broken symmetries, topological phases and the occurrence of dissipative phase transitions are of particular interest. This thesis aims at establishing a theoretical framework to engineer, characterize and control nonclassical states of light in photonic quantum optical networks in different regimes. The emphasis is put on its implementation, in particular with respect to integration and scalability in photonic platforms. In this thesis, we tackle some interesting aspects arising in the study of the dynamics of driven dissipative coupled nonlinear optical resonators. In that context, we consider the dynamics of two coupled nonlinear photonic cavities in the presence of inhomogeneous coherent driving and local dissipations using the Lindblad master equation formalism.We show that this simple open quantum many-body system can be subject to dynamical instabilities. In particular, our analysis shows that this system presents highly nonclassical properties and its dynamics exhibits dissipative Kerr solitons (DKSs), characterized by the robustness of its specific temporal or spatial waveform during propagation.In a second step, our intuition gained from this system composed of only few degrees of freedom is expanded to the study of systems of bigger size. In particular, we study DKSs originating from the parametric gain in Kerr microresonators. While DKSs are usually described using a classical mean-field approach, our work proposes a quantum-mechanical model formulated in terms of the truncated Wigner formalism. This analysis is motivated by the fact that technological implementations push towards the realization of DKSs in miniaturized integrated systems. These are operating at low power, a regime where quantum effects are expected to be relevant. Using the tools provided by the theory of open quantum systems, we propose a detailed investigation of the impact of quantum fluctuations on the spectral and dynamical properties of DKSs. We show that the quantum fluctuations arising from losses engender a finite lifetime to the soliton, and demonstrate that DKSs correspond to a specific class of dissipative time crystals.

We reveal an intriguing anomaly in the temperature dependence of the specific heat of a one-dimensional Bose gas. The observed peak holds for arbitrary interaction and remembers a superfluid-to-normal phase transition in higher dimensions, but phase transitions are not allowed in one dimension. The presence of the anomaly signals a region of unpopulated states which behaves as an energy gap and is located below the hole branch in the excitation spectrum. The anomaly temperature is found to be of the same order of the energy of the maximum of the hole branch. We rely on the Bethe Ansatz to obtain the specific heat exactly and provide interpretations of the analytically tractable limits. The dynamic structure factor is computed with the Path Integral Monte Carlo method for the first time. We notice that at temperatures similar to the anomaly threshold, the energy of the thermal fluctuations become comparable with the maximal hole energy, leading to a qualitative change in the structure of excitations. This excitation pattern experiences the breakdown of the quasiparticle description for any value of the interaction strength at the anomaly, similarly to any superfluid phase transition at the critical temperature. We provide indications for future observations and how the hole anomaly can be employed for in-situ thermometry, identifying different collisional regimes and understanding other anomalies in atomic, solid-state, electronic, spin-chain and ladder systems.