Dr. John Sipe

January 2014 we invited Dr. John Sipe

Presentation:   From classical to quantum nonlinear optics in photonic structures


Nonlinear polarizations described by the χ(2) and χ(3) susceptibilities are central to many of the phenomena of classical nonlinear optics, including processes as diverse as second harmonic generation and four-wave mixing. These same susceptibilities govern quantum optical processes in which correlated photons are generated, such as spontaneous parametric down-conversion and spontaneous four-wave mixing. We argue that it is useful to address classical and quantum calculations within the same framework, particularly in the integrated optics structures that will be important for quantum information processing “on a chip.” When this is done a more unified picture of nonlinear optics, involving both classical and quantum regimes, results; we show how analytical or numerical classical calculations, or even just the results of classical experiments, can immediately be used to predict the behavior of a device in the quantum regime, and how it will scale as parameters are changed. We also show how it is possible to do a “virtual tomography” of the entangled states that would be generated in a quantum experiment by recording the results of a series of easily-performed classical experiments.


John Sipe is a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Toronto, where he received his Ph.D. He is a theorist who works on problems in optical and condensed matter physics.

His current research focuses on optical properties of ring resonators and other artificially structured materials, and their use in quantum and nonlinear optics; coherent control and transport of carriers, spins, currents, and spin currents in bulk and nanostructure semiconductors; application of structures with optical resonances to problems in biosensing; foundational problems in quantum mechanics.

He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and the Royal Society of Canada.

Sponsor: OSA Traveling Lecturer Program