Strong laser fields and their power to generate controllable high-photon-number coherent-state superpositions

J. Rivera-Dean, Th. Lamprou, E. Pisanty, P. Stammer, A. F. Ordóñez, A. S. Maxwell, M. F. Ciappina, M. Lewenstein*, P. Tzallas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recently, intensely driven laser-matter interactions have been used to connect the fields of strong laser field physics with quantum optics by generating nonclassical states of light. Here, we take a further key step and show the potential of strong laser fields for generating controllable high-photon-number coherent-state superpositions. This has been achieved by using two of the most prominent strong-laser induced processes: high-harmonic generation and above-threshold ionization. We show how the obtained coherent-state superpositions change from an optical Schrödinger "cat"state to a "kitten"state by changing the atomic density in the laser-atom interaction region, and we demonstrate the generation of a nine-photon shifted optical "cat"state, which, to our knowledge, is the highest photon number optical "cat"state experimentally reported. Our findings anticipate the development of new methods that naturally lead to the creation of high-photon-number controllable coherent-state superpositions, advancing investigations in quantum technology.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review A
DOIs
StatePublished - 23 Mar 2022

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