Huaixiu Zheng wins John T. Chambers Scholar Award

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Prof. Harold Baranger is delighted to announce that his student and fourth year graduate student Huaixiu Zheng has won a prestigious Duke award: the John T. Chambers Scholar award of the Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics (FIP) which is part of the Pratt School of Engineering. Huaixiu's main work here at Duke is on a new area of quantum optics and condensed matter physics called "waveguide quantum-electrodynamics" (waveguide QED). The idea is to have photons (or some other kind of bosons) which are confined in one dimension in a waveguide interact strongly with a quantum two-level system. This gives rise to many-body bound state effects which then cause a variety of interesting and potentially useful nonlinear quantum optics effects ("photon blockade" is one example). A wide variety of experimental systems are potentially available for observing these effects: a metallic nanowire coupled to a quantum dot, cold atoms trapped in a hollow fiber, a photonic nanowire with an embedded quantum dot, and a 1D superconducting transmission line coupled to a flux qubit. Huaixiu's work in this area is done in collaboration with Prof. Baranger and Prof. Daniel Gauthier.

Huaixiu has published one paper on the subject so far, "Waveguide QED: Many-body bound-state effects in coherent and Fock-state scattering from a two-level system," Huaixiu Zheng, Daniel J. Gauthier, and Harold U. Baranger Phys. Rev. A 82, 063816 (2010) and a second is submitted and available on the arXiv, "Cavity-free Photon Blockade Induced by Many-body Bound States," Huaixiu Zheng, Daniel J. Gauthier, Harold U. Baranger.

​Huaixiu's proposal, which was a big factor in winning the Chambers Scholar award, was entitled "Towards Cavity-free Open Quantum Networks." Here is a brief summary of his proposal:

"Since Richard Feynman, it has been a dream of quantum physicists and engineers to build a quantum network, based on which a quantum computer could be constructed for large-scale quantum computation, and a quantum internet could be realized for faithful information processing over long distance. As shown in Fig. 1, a quantum network consists of local quantum nodes that are interconnected through quantum channels. The standard way to proceed toward such a network is to use a cavity-QED system; such an approach is technically very challenging. I propose to  study the quantum interface between photons and quantum nodes in a cavity-free one-dimensional (1D) waveguide system (see Fig. 2a)."

More information about the Chambers Scholars program can be found here on the FIP website. Huaixiu is a winner for the period August 2011 - July 2013.