Title: Biasing the Quantum Vacuum to Control Macroscopic Probability Distributions in Bistable Optical Systems
Abstract: Quantum field theory reveals that even in the vacuum state, electromagnetic fields fluctuate, and can be harnessed as a source for quantum random number generation. I will discuss how these fluctuations can realize "biased" quantum randomness in a photonic platform. By introducing vacuum-level bias fields into a multi-stable optical system, specifically a degenerate optical parametric oscillator, we can control the probability distribution of the system’s two possible output states. I will discuss how this new ability realizes the first controllable photonic probabilistic bit, suggesting profound implications for optical computing and the sensing of extremely weak fields. I will conclude by discussing recent advances in nanophotonics platforms to motivate a patch towards miniaturization such optical systems, improved energy efficiency and increased information density.
About the Speaker: Yannick Salamin is a Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT, where he focuses on studying complex light-matter interactions in multistable and multimodal quantum optical systems for applications in optical computing and spectroscopy. Yannick obtained his Ph.D. from ETH Zurich, Switzerland, where he developed ultra-efficient plasmonic waveguides for terahertz field sensing and high-speed photodetection. He received the ETH Medal for outstanding thesis, the 2021 ABB Research Prize, and was awarded a SNSF Early Post-Doc Mobility fellowship.