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Physics colloquium: “Optical Frequency Combs and Quantum Metrology”

October 11 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Scott Diddams

NIST, Optical Frequency Measurement Group & CU Boulder, Depts. of Electrical Engineering and Physics

Abstract: The optical frequency comb is one of the most significant advances in laser science since the development of the laser itself. It is an essential component of all present and future optical clocks and time-transfer systems, as well as many other quantum-based sensors that rely on precision spectroscopy. Despite this close connection to quantum systems, in all applications thus far explored, there are no demonstrations of how a frequency comb could yield a quantum advantage for metrology. The most important limitation remains in photodetection, where shot noise sets the fundamental signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). However, there are important and impactful differences that arise in the detection of frequency comb light that yield results where the shot-noise limited SNR appears to be exceeded. We are exploring these limits with the goal of defining the standard quantum limit for metrology with frequency combs. Highlights will be provided for important measurement scenarios, and I will discuss the prospects of comb systems to perform electric-field-correlation spectroscopy of thermal light and measure non-classical states of light.

Bio: Scott Diddams holds the Robert H. Davis Endowed Chair at the University of Colorado Boulder where he is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics. He carries out experimental research in the fields of precision spectroscopy and quantum metrology, nonlinear optics, microwave photonics and ultrafast lasers. Diddams received the Ph.D. degree from the University of New Mexico in 1996.  From 1996 through 2000, he did postdoctoral work at JILA at the University of Colorado. For the following two decades he was a Physicist and Fellow of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Throughout his career, he has pioneered the development of optical frequency combs and their use in optical clocks, tests of fundamental physics, novel spectroscopy in the visible and mid-infrared, and ultralow noise frequency synthesis. In recent years, special attention has been given to the use of nonlinear nanophotonics for spectral broadcasting, infrared frequency comb sources, as well as high repetition rate laser-based and microresonator frequency combs, which are being explored for applications in microwave photonics and astronomy.  Among many awards, Dr. Diddams received the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award, the Department of Commerce Gold and Silver Medals for “revolutionizing the way frequency is measured”, as well as the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE), the IEEE Photonics Society Laser Instrumentation Award, and the IEEE Rabi award. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and the American Physical Society.

All lectures in CoorsTek 140 unless otherwise noted


October 11
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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CoorsTek Center for Applied Science and Engineering
1523 Illinois St.
Golden, CO 80401 United States
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