Topological Features in Photonics Systems
One of the promising applications of quantum computers is quantum simulation --- the ability to simulate quantum dynamics on an engineerable physical system. Such simulators allow us to investigate models that are practically impossible to study on a classical computer. For example, there are tremendous efforts underway to better understand systems with topological order --- global properties that are not discernible locally. The best known examples are quantum Hall effects in electronic system, where insensitivity to local properties manifests itself as conductance through edge states that is insensitive to defects and disorder.
In this talk, I demonstrate how similar physics can be observed for photons; specifically, how various quantum Hall Hamiltonians can be simulated in an optical platform. I report on the first observation of topological photonic edge state using the silicon-on-insulator technology. Furthermore, the addition of optical nonlinearity to this system provides a platform to implement fractional quantum Hall states of photons and anyonic states that have not yet been observed. More generally, the application of these ideas can lead to development of on-chip optical devices, such as delay lines and isolators, with built-in protection.
Mohammad Hafezi received his diplome d'ingenieur from Ecole Polytechnique (Paris) in 2003 and his Ph.D. from Physics Department at Harvard University in 2009. He moved to the Joint Quantum Institute (NIST/University of Maryland) as a research associate and since 2012 he has been a research faculty. His research is at the interface of theoretical quantum optics and condensed matter physics with a focus on fundamental physics and applications in quantum information science, precision measurement and integrated photonics.