Date of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Zhe-Yu Jeff Ou

Committee Chair

Zhe-Yu Jeff Ou

Committee Member 1

Ricardo Decca

Committee Member 2

Gautam Vemuri

Committee Member 3

Marvin D. Kemple

Committee Member 4

Sergei Savikhin


By implementing a parametric down-conversion process with a strong signal field injection, we demonstrate that frequency down-conversion from pump photons to idler photons can be a coherent process. Contrary to a common misconception, we show that the process can be free of quantum noise. With an interference experiment, we demonstrate that coherence is preserved in the conversion process. This technique could lead to a high-fidelity quantum state transfer from a high-frequency photon to a low-frequency photon and connect a missing link in quantum networks. ^ Coherent and efficient nonlinear interaction and frequency conversion are of great interest in many areas of quantum optics. Traditionally, the low efficiency of Raman scattering is improved by a high-finesse optical resonator or stimulated Raman conversion. It was recently found that the atomic spin wave initially built through electromagnetically induced transparency or a weak Raman process can actively enhance the Raman frequency conversion. An experimental demonstration of an efficient Raman conversion scheme with coherent feedback of both pump and Stokes fields is presented. The temporal profile of the generated Raman pulse shows that the coherence time of the atomic spin wave is $\sim$1.8 ms. A laser-like power threshold is observed and its low threshold is attributed to the long coherence time of the atomic spin wave. The mechanism of the conversion enhancement process is discussed and the conversion efficiency of a single pass of the beams is compared with that of double passes. Finally, a beat signal is observed between the two Stokes fields and its Fourier transform shows that the frequency difference is caused by the AC Stark effect. ^ Precision phase measurement is traditionally restricted by the standard quantum limit. However, this limit is not as fundamental as the Heisenberg limit and can be circumvented by use of nonclassical quantum states and structure modification of the interferometers. Several examples of nonlinear interferometers are proposed and implemented. The wave propagation equations for the nonlinear interferometers are solved. The interference fringes are measured and compared with that of linear interferometers. The first nonlinear interferometer presented is based on second harmonic generation and degenerate parametric down-conversion. The second nonlinear interferometer is composed of two parametric amplifiers. The idea of nonlinear beam splitters is introduced as an analogy to traditional beam splitters. We show that a nonlinear interferometer can be built alternatively by using only one parametric amplifier. Type II phase-matched crystals can be used to increase the amplification factor. An interferometer based on a Raman amplifier is analyzed for its application to sensitive magnetic field measurement.