Seminar: Electro-Optics and Microelectronics Seminar

ECE Women Community

Quantum effects in free-electron – light interactions

Date: May,29,2023 Start Time: 14:30 - 15:30
Location: 1061, Meyer Building
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Lecturer: Aviv Karnieli
A free charged particle, such as the electron, can emit light when it traverses a nontrivial optical medium – one famous example is the Cherenkov effect, discovered in 1934. These phenomena are believed to be adequately explained by Maxwell’s equations, where free-electrons are classical point-like particles and light is a continuous electromagnetic wave. Thus, the quantum nature of both the electron and the photon seems redundant. Or is it? Here, we ask how ‘quantum’ is the fundamental interaction between a free-electron and a photon? Using the theory of quantum electrodynamics, together with experimental demonstrations, we reveal quantum effects in light emission by free-electrons, originating in quantum decoherence, entanglement and superradiance. Our results unveil corrections to the century-old classical theory, with applications ranging from charged particle detection, electron microscopy, and novel light sources. Further, we show how quantum photon statistics can be imprinted on the wavefunction of a free-electron interacting with an incident light beam, which may allow for novel applications for free-electron-based photodetection on the ultrafast time scale.
Aviv Karnieli received his BSc degrees (summa cum laude) in Physics and Electrical Engineering from Tel-Aviv University in 2017. He then enrolled to the direct PhD track in Physics, in the Sackler School of Physics and Astronomy in Tel-Aviv University, receiving the prestigious Adams Fellowship by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities in 2019. In his PhD research, under the joint supervision of Prof. Ady Arie and Prof. Ido Kaminer from the Technion, he studied quantum optical effects in nonlinear optics and free-electron–light interactions.


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