Title

Characterizing a 474 nm Laser as a Source for Spontaneous Parametric Down Conversion

Presenter Information

Joshua Balmer
Lex Howard

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 140

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

There is an important class of experiments that characterize the properties of quantum mechanical systems using correlated photons, and a typical source for correlated photons is the process of Spontaneous Parametric Down Conversion (SPDC). SPDC is a quantum mechanical process in which a single “pump” photon is converted into two photons that have half the frequency and double the wavelength of the original photon. This process takes place inside a crystal with particular optical properties that allow for SPDC, and we used a uniaxial Beta Barium Borate crystal. A single photon counting module (SPCM) was used as a detector for the photons. Our goal was to characterize a 474 nanometer (nm) Diode Pumped Solid State (DPSS) laser as a possible source for SPDC correlated photons. Measurements of the DPSS laser radiation showed that it emitted photons with a wavelength of both 474 nm and 948 nm, which was expected. The SPDC photons produced by our apparatus would also have a wavelength of 948 nm, so we tested whether the down converted photons could be detected without the 948 nm signal from the DPSS laser overwhelming the SPCM. Software for determining the parameters of SPDC in a given system is available from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and we used it to determine where we could expect to see SPDC photons. Initial measurements suggest that the system can produce SPDC photons, and we will continue to characterize the apparatus.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Michael Braunstein

Additional Mentoring Department

Physics

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May 16th, 12:00 PM May 16th, 12:20 PM

Characterizing a 474 nm Laser as a Source for Spontaneous Parametric Down Conversion

SURC 140

There is an important class of experiments that characterize the properties of quantum mechanical systems using correlated photons, and a typical source for correlated photons is the process of Spontaneous Parametric Down Conversion (SPDC). SPDC is a quantum mechanical process in which a single “pump” photon is converted into two photons that have half the frequency and double the wavelength of the original photon. This process takes place inside a crystal with particular optical properties that allow for SPDC, and we used a uniaxial Beta Barium Borate crystal. A single photon counting module (SPCM) was used as a detector for the photons. Our goal was to characterize a 474 nanometer (nm) Diode Pumped Solid State (DPSS) laser as a possible source for SPDC correlated photons. Measurements of the DPSS laser radiation showed that it emitted photons with a wavelength of both 474 nm and 948 nm, which was expected. The SPDC photons produced by our apparatus would also have a wavelength of 948 nm, so we tested whether the down converted photons could be detected without the 948 nm signal from the DPSS laser overwhelming the SPCM. Software for determining the parameters of SPDC in a given system is available from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and we used it to determine where we could expect to see SPDC photons. Initial measurements suggest that the system can produce SPDC photons, and we will continue to characterize the apparatus.