University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext 32215
Fax: (519) 746-8115
Have you ever looked at a flame dancing in the air and asked yourself what a flame really is? For instance, what happens when we burn firewood (matter) and thus change it to light and heat (energy). Simply speaking, when you ask such questions you are wondering about two physical quantities, light and matter. Clearly many over the history of time have thought about the interaction between light and matter, and some have thought more in depth in order to understand the basic phenomenon related to this interaction.
One approach is to analyze the building blocks of light and matter. In physics, a quantum is regarded as the minimum amount of any physical entity involved in an interaction. For instance, the photon is introduced as a single quantum of light, and is referred to as a “light quantum". The photon is one of the key quantities that we are dealing with in the present seminar.
The speed of light c (about 300000 km/s), in the famous equation of mass-energy equivalence E = mc2, is considered as the maximum speed at which all energy, matter, and information in the universe can travel. In the research described in the present seminar, we are trying to control and store the fastest quantity in the physical world, the photon, in matter and release an identical photon after some on-demand time. A device with this capability is called a quantum memory for light and this seminar describes an investigation towards developing such quantum memories. There are several applications for a component with the possibility to store a light quantum and retrieve it on-demand. One application which has attracted a great deal of attention recently is quantum cryptography.
This talk is geared toward an upper year audience; as always, everyone is welcome to attend.