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Thursday, January 21, 2010
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
T-DO Conference Room, Bldg 123, Room 121

Quantum Lunch

Universal Descriptions of Resonant Processes, from Linear Optical Filters to Nonlinear Frequency Conversion

Steven Johnson
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Any process involving weakly coupled optical resonators (or any other kind of resonator) with a finite number of input/output channels can be described by a technique known as temporal coupled-mode theory (TCMT) that has its origins in 1960s but has recently blossomed to new levels of generality. Unlike many other perturbative methods with similar names, TCMT aims to provide a universal description of a generic class of devices, rather than a specific solution for a particular device. In this way, it illuminates common principles in very different designs, and reveals the underlying physical possibilities. This seminar will provide an introduction and review of this powerful technique, underscoring its versatility and the many applications to which it has been put over the years, from microwave filters to extraordinary transmission through subwavelength slits. We will also present new results for nonlinear frequency conversion in multi-resonant devices. When there is a resonance at each frequency present in a nonlinear interaction (such as harmonic generation), it can not only boost efficiency (to quantum-limited levels) but also introduces new types of nonlinear dynamics (from multistability to self-pulsing) that are not present in a singly resonant or non-resonant device.

Host: Diego Dalvit