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Physics & Astronomy Colloquium

Will Renninger (UR) Title: Novel Interactions Between Optical and Acoustic Waves

Abstract: Optical interactions with vibrations of nanostructured surfaces through radiation pressure have enabled the recent field of cavity optomechanics. This field has far-reaching applications from precision metrology to the foundations of quantum mechanics. A related optical interaction, known as Brillouin scattering, occurs with traveling acoustic waves through electrostriction, and has a long and distinct history. This talk reviews several new directions for Brillouin scattering research including a complementary approach to the ambitious goals of cavity optomechanics. Considered the strongest optical nonlinearity, Brillouin scattering has been harnessed for light generation, slow light, materials characterization, and for beam cleaning. It is also considered an undesired source of noise for single-photon interactions and for applications like fiber communications. Here we show how Brillouin interactions can occur even when other optical nonlinearities are absent, in hollow-core fibers. We demonstrate that light can scatter from high frequency acoustic waves in dilute gases like air. In addition, we demonstrate a new but analogous nonlinear optical process in which light can scatter from traveling entropy waves, in addition to acoustic waves, in superfluid helium. Finally, by cryogenically enhancing the phonon lifetime in bulk crystals to coherence lengths longer than a meter, we show how Brillouin scattering is radically altered and optomechanical interactions can be enhanced by four orders of magnitude in a new platform for materials spectroscopy, precision metrology, and quantum information processing.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at 3:45pm to 4:45pm

Bausch and Lomb Hall, 106
500 Wilson Blvd, Rochester, NY

Event Type

Lectures and Talks


Faculty, Students, Staff

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Contact Phone or Email

(585) 275-4344

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