Quantum Coherence and Quantum-Vacuum Effects in Some Artificial Electromagnetic Media

Sammanfattning: The author of this thesis concentrates his attention on quantum optical properties of some artificial electromagnetic media, such as quantum coherent atomic vapors (various multilevel electromagnetically induced transparency vapors) and negative refractive index materials, and suggests some possible ways to manipulate wave propagations inside the artificial electromagnetic materials based on quantum coherence and quantum vacuum effects. In Chapters 1 and 2, the author reviews the previous papers on quantum coherence as well as the relevant work such as electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT), atomic population trapping and their various applications. The basic concepts of quantum coherence (atomic phase coherence, quantum interferences within atomic energy levels) and quantum vacuum are introduced, and the theoretical formulations for treating wave propagations in quantum coherent media are presented. In Chapter 3, the author considers three topics on the manipulation of light propagations via quantum coherence and quantum interferences: i) the evolutional optical behaviors (turn-on dynamics) of a four-level N-configuration atomic system is studied and the tunable optical behavior that depends on the intensity ratio of the signal field to the control field is considered. Some typical photonic logic gates (e.g. NOT and NOR gates) are designed based on the tunable four-level optical responses of the N-configuration atomic system; ii) the destructive and constructive quantum interferences between two control transitions (driven by the control fields) in a tripod-type four-level system is suggested. The double-control quantum interferences can be utilized to realize some photonic devices such as the logic-gate devices, e.g., NOT, OR, NOR and EXNOR gates; iii) some new quantum coherent schemes (using EIT and dressed-state mixed-parity transitions) for realizing negative refractive indices are proposed. The most remarkable characteristic (and advantage) of the present scenarios is such that the isotropic left-handed media (with microscopic structure units at the atomic level) in the optical frequency band can be achieved. Quantum vacuum (the ground state of quantized fields) can exhibit many interesting effects. In Chapter 4, we investigate two quantum-vacuum effects in artificial materials: i) the anisotropic distribution of quantum-vacuum momentum density in a moving electromagnetic medium; ii) the angular momentum transfer between quantum vacuum and anisotropic medium. Such quantum-vacuum macroscopic mechanical effects could be detected by current technology, e.g., the so-called fiber optical sensor that can measure motion with nanoscale sensitivity. We expect that these vacuum effects could be utilized to develop sensitive sensor techniques or to design new quantum optical and photonic devices.In Chapter 5, the author suggests some interesting effects due to the combination of quantum coherence and quantum vacuum, i.e., the quantum coherent effects, in which the quantum-vacuum fluctuation field is involved. Two topics are addressed: i) spontaneous emission inhibition due to quantum interference in a three-level system; ii) quantum light-induced guiding potentials for coherent manipulation of atomic matter waves (containing multilevel atoms). These quantum guiding potentials could be utilized to cool and trap atoms, and may be used for the development of new techniques of atom fibers and atom chips, where the coherent manipulation of atomic matter waves is needed.In Chapter 6, we conclude this thesis with some remarks, briefly discuss new work that deserves further consideration in the future, and present a guide to the previously published papers by us.