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The greatest coupling between light and matter ever

The UPV/EHU's 'Ikerbasque' team, led by Professor Enrique Solano, has achieved, in theoretical-experimental collaboration between groups from Spain and Germany, the "greatest" coupling between light and matter on a quantum scale, that is, between photons and artificial atoms . This intense coupling never achieved requires a new theoretical and conceptual model and could have "major" repercussions in the world of communications and quantum computers.


Updated version of the previous article.




The Basque Public University has reported that the finding has just been published in the online version of the journal Nature Physics, in an article entitled 'Circuit quantum electrodynamics in the ultrastrong-coupling regime', and will be included in a future issue of the edition printed.


Solano's group is "one of the world leaders in ultra-strong coupling between light and matter in the microwave quantum regime and superconducting circuits, which manifest their quantum behavior when brought near absolute zero temperature."


In this way, the finding "can change the way quantum information exchange is understood and implemented, both in communications and in fast information processing." It could have applications for the design of high-precision quantum radars, quantum computers and the microwave photon detection .


As they have reported, "all remote communication is based on light that is emitted and absorbed by matter. When the light is intense we can speak of waves of electromagnetic radiation, when it is tenuous we enter the quantum world and we have to speak of light particles called photons.


When making a mobile call, for example, the emitting device generates electromagnetic waves that, upon reaching the receiver, interact with matter again. This coupling between radiation and matter allows the encoding and decoding of information in the transmitter and receiver, respectively, the intensity of the coupling being one of the determining factors of the quantity and quality of the information transmitted.


Enrique Solano has a doctorate in Physics from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. After working at the Max-Planck Institute for Quantum Optics and the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, since 2008 he has carried out his research at the Department of Physical Chemistry of the Faculty of Science and Technology thanks to the agreement between the UPV/EHU and the Ikerbasque Foundation.


References: Nature Reviews Physics https://doi.org/10.1038/s42254-018-0006-2

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