Electron quantum optics


what is it ?

Electron quantum optics is an emerging field whose purpose is to transpose what can be done with photons in ballistic conductors. Electron quantum optics thus aims at the controlled preparation, manipulation and measurement of single electron excitations in a ballistic conductors.

Experiments are realized at very low temperatures and in a strong magnetic field since electrons are propagating along the edge channels of a two dimensional electron gas in the quantum Hall regime.

Although a considerable amount of work has been devoted to understand electronic quantum transport, understanding analogies and difference between quantum optics with photons and electronic quantum optics is a quite recent and very active area of research.

Electron quantum optics experiments probe time scales comparable to electron coherence time. This has never been performed and requires a full mastering of very low temperatures, high quality sample fabrication and radio-frequency techniques.


WHY IS IT interesting ?

Quantum transport usually deals with stationary non equilibrium electron distribution since the available electron sources are basically reservoirs at thermal equilibrium.

By contrast, electron quantum optics deals with single to few electron excitations. Consequently, one can study interaction effects on these excitations and gain a complementary view on the physics of interacting electron systems. Quantitative studies of decoherence can then be envisioned through “gedanken experiments” involving a single electron.

It also brings a new way to do mesoscopic physics since new experimental tools are needed to prepare, manipulate and measure electronic quantum states. Il also brings in a concrete way concepts from quantum information theory such as fidelities, entanglement etc in condensed matter physics.

DO You want to know more ?

I suggest that you read my papers on the subject, starting from this review. You can also read Charles Grenier’s thesis on the subject for more information.