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Fock lasers based on deep-strong coupling of light and matter
preprintposted on 2023-01-12, 14:27 authored by Nicholas Rivera, Jamison Sloan, Ido Kaminer, Marin Soljacic
Light and matter can now interact in a regime where their coupling is stronger than their bare energies. This deep-strong coupling (DSC) regime of quantum electrodynamics promises to challenge many conventional assumptions about the physics of light and matter. Here, we show how light and matter interactions in this regime give rise to electromagnetic nonlinearities dramatically different from those of naturally existing materials. Excitations in the DSC regime act as photons with a linear energy spectrum up to a critical excitation number, after which, the system suddenly becomes strongly anharmonic, thus acting as an effective intensity-dependent nonlinearity of an extremely high order. We show that this behavior allows for N-photon blockade (with $N \gg 1$), enabling qualitatively new kinds of quantum light sources. For example, this nonlinearity forms the basis for a new type of gain medium, which when integrated into a laser or maser, produces large Fock states (rather than coherent states). Such Fock states could in principle have photon numbers orders of magnitude larger than any realized previously, and would be protected from dissipation by a new type of equilibrium between nonlinear gain and linear loss. We discuss paths to experimental realization of the effects described here.