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Quantum fluids of photons in optically-induced structures

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "Q-PHOTONICS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: HERZL STREET 234
postcode: 7610001

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Israel [IL]
 Total cost 1˙500˙000 €
 EC max contribution 1˙500˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-06-01   to  2021-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE IL (REHOVOT) coordinator 1˙500˙000.00


 Project objective

A variety of classical optical systems exhibiting rich and complex matter-like behavior have been explored in recent years. Unfortunately in the optical regime, photons – the fundamental constituents of light – do not interact strongly with one another, and therefore cannot be used for studying many-body effects. It is only in the extreme regime of quantum nonlinear optics where effective interactions between photons are made strong. In an atomic gas, strong long-range interactions can be achieved by coupling photons to interacting atoms. First experiments have indicated the formation of a two-photon bound state via this mechanism. The main goal of the proposed research is to develop an optical system based on atomic interactions that realizes quantum many-body physics with optical photons subject to a rich variety of model problems.

The proposed method relies on reconfigurable, optically-induced, three-dimensional, structures, which are fully compatible with the underlying atomic process. These structures enable the spatial compression of photons for enhancing the interactions, wave guiding for one-dimensional confinement in long media, and a rich variety of two-dimensional potentials with tunable interactions, from nearly-free photons to various tight-binding models with a controllable level of disorder. Optically-induced structures also offer advantages to optical quantum information, enabling better gate fidelities due to stronger nonlinearities and multimode coupling for processes such as photon routing.

Our method has the potential to realize quantum gases and fluids of interacting photons. We can manipulate the effective mass and the band structure, control the potential landscape, and tune the scattering length in the system from attractive to repulsive. In particular, we intend to study few-photon bound states, quantum solitons, Luttinger liquids of photons, and Wigner crystallization in one and two dimensions.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Or Katz, Ofer Firstenberg
Transverse optical pumping of spin states
published pages: , ISSN: 2399-3650, DOI: 10.1038/s42005-019-0170-4
Communications Physics 2/1 2019-09-02
2017 Dibyendu Roy, C. M. Wilson, Ofer Firstenberg
Colloquium : Strongly interacting photons in one-dimensional continuum
published pages: , ISSN: 0034-6861, DOI: 10.1103/RevModPhys.89.021001
Reviews of Modern Physics 89/2 2019-06-19
2017 Ohr Lahad, Ofer Firstenberg
Induced Cavities for Photonic Quantum Gates
published pages: , ISSN: 0031-9007, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.113601
Physical Review Letters 119/11 2019-06-19

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