Probing and Connecting Matter with Novel Light Sources

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The interaction of light and matter plays a major role in AMO physics. Our ability to harness and extract information from increasingly complex and interacting systems, ranging from atoms to molecules to real materials is often driven by our capacity to tailor light and develop specialized sources of light. On the other hand, advancing light sources itself is a scientific task that requires utmost control of atoms, molecules, collective states of atoms, and solid-state environments. 

To this end, we develop, generate and apply light sources across a broad spectral range. We explore methods to generate classical laser light at photon energies in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) spectral region, outside the range that is accessible with conventional laser technology, and we also learn how to make light sources that are increasingly complex in their quantum state.  Furthermore, we seek to understand the prospects for utilizing classical and quantum light sources in systems extending all the way to biophysical environments. With the advancements of each of these light source developments we will focus on the application to specific challenges.

Specific topics in this major research activity include: 

  • Frequency comb vacuum ultraviolet light sources for a nuclear-referenced clock
  • Non-classical absorption with entangled photon pairs
  • Tailoring propagating quantum states