Email: mj35 (at) st-andrews.ac.uk
Research Group: Quantum Optics
Supervisor: Dr Friedrich König
Funding: 600th Anniversary and EPSRC
Period: 09/2013 to 03/2017
Tel: 01334 463207
I am currently working as a Research Associate in the Quantum Optics group at the University of St Andrews, United-Kingdom. I am interested in the theoretical and experimental assessment of spontaneous and stimulated emission of light at an event horizon created by light itself when propagating in an optical fibre.
I finished my PhD - under the supervision of Dr Friedrich Koenig at St Andrews - in the summer of 2017, with a Thesis entitled “Negative Frequency at the Horizon: Scattering of Light at a Refractive Index Front.” Before that I studied toward an MSc in Photonics and Optoelectronic Devices from the universities of St Andrews and Heriot-Watt in 2013, and a French Engineering Degree from the University of Orléans in 2013 as well.
One of the most fascinating aspects of laser physics and light interaction with materials is the ability to reproduce the features of completely different (and sometimes more complicated) systems. With this idea in mind, I will be studying the realization of an optical analogue to a black hole in the laboratory.
Hawking showed that, at the event horizon of a black hole, the usually disconnected areas of general relativity, quantum physics and thermodynamics come together. Black hole horizons are thermodynamical objects that emit a radiation of a temperature inversely proportional to the mass of the black hole, known as Hawking Radiation (HR). Discovering the statistical mechanics that rule the physics of horizons would be a significant contribution to building a theory of quantum gravitation. Sadly, HR cannot be observed directly in astrophysics. Indeed, the Chandrasekhar limit sets the lowest possible mass of a black hole to 1.39 solar masses. Such low-weight black hole would exhibit a temperature of HR about one billion times lower than that of the cosmic microwave background. Fortunately, the space-time and fluid medium analogy allows us to create laboratory analogues of event horizons that exhibit high temperature HR. At the horizon, the curvature of space-time is such that it falls at the speed of light: inside the black hole space-time falls towards the central singularity faster than light. Thus the horizon separates two regions of space-time flow: the outside and the inside of the black hole, where the space-time falls at sub- and super-luminal speeds respectively. Because of dispersion - the frequency dependence of the speed of waves in media - it is experimentally possible to use a moving boundary that separates a region of superluminal speed from a region of subluminal speed.
We are currently working on a fully quantized analytical model to study a moving boundary between two homogeneous dielectrics. To date, we showed how light in the medium may experience analogue black- or white-hole or horizonless configurations at the boundary, and how the analogue Hawking mechanism of mode mixing then leads to spontaneous emission of radiation. We have also calculated all the necessary information to run an optical experiment aimed at observing the spontaneous emission of pairs at the horizon. I am also working on an experiment in which we stimulate the Hawking emission process at the horizon with a coherent, monochromatic wave, and try to observe the transfer of energy to waves of positive and negative frequency.
My PhD Thesis was concerned with the problem of calculating and observing the mixing of light waves of positive and negative frequency at an event horizon in dispersive media. My work was supervised by Dr Friedrich König of the Quantum Optics group.
The main experimental component of my Thesis is the investigation of a multi-mode scattering process that involves energy transfers between modes of positive and negative frequency at an event horizon created in an optical fibre. In our theoretical studies, we found this mode mixing process to be of the same class as the Hawking emission mechanism at the event horizon of astronomical black holes – this involved developing a quantum theory for the field and simulating the interaction of light and matter in a dispersive medium with Mathematica.
In the laboratory, I work with femtosecond-lasers and Photonic Crystal Fibres to create solitons that act as the event horizon for a weak, continuous, 532 nm wave. I then use wavelength-filtering techniques to separate the various signals created at the horizon and measure them with photomultiplier-tubes-single-photon counters.
I invited Prof William Unruh to visit our group in November 2016 and organised his coming - funded via a SUPA Distinguished Visiting Lecturer grant of £1,200 that I successfully applied for - on behalf of the Quantum Optics group
M. Jacquet and F. König: "Quantum vacuum emission from a refractive index front" Phys. Rev. A 92, 023851 (2015) Published 28 August 2015.
M. Jacquet and F. König: "Quantum vacuum emission from a moving refractive index front" Proc. SPIE 9615, Quantum Communications and Quantum Imaging XIII, 96150G (2015). Published 9 Sep 2015.
M. Jacquet and F. König: "Analytics and Numerics of Spontaneous Emission of Light at the Optical Event Horizon" arXiv:1709.03100.
M. Jacquet (2017): “Analytics and Numerics of the Scattering of Vacuum at a Moving Refractive Index Front.” QUISCO September meeting, Glasgow, UK.
M. Jaquet and F. König (2017): “Mixing of positive and negative frequency waves at the optical horizon.” Relativistic Quantum Information and Continuous Variables Workshop at ICNFP2017, Chania, Greece.
M. Jacquet (2017): “Positive-negative frequency conversation at a refractive index front.” Congrès Général de la Société Française de Physique, Orsay, France.
M. Jacquet and F. König (2017): “Positive-negative frequency conversion at a refractive index front.” CEWQO 2017, DTU Lyngby, Denmark.
M. Jacquet (2017): “Positive-negative frequency conversion at a refractive index front.” Solstice of Foundations Summer School, Zurich, Switzerland.
M. Jacquet (2016): “Spontaneous emission from an analogue event horizon in a dispersive dielectric.” Relativistic Quantum Information-North 2016, Institue for Quantum Computing, Waterloo, Canada.
M. Jacquet and F. König (2016): “'Shiny' lab-made event horizons.” School of Physics and Astronomy Postgraduate Day, St Andrews, United Kingdom.
M. Jacquet and F. König (2016): "Optical event horizons and the relation between General relativity and Quantum physics". Presented to the Members of the United-Kingdom Parliament on 7/03/16 at SET for Britain.
M. Jacquet and F. König (2015): "Quantum vacuum emission from a refractive index front". 22nd Central European Workshop on Quantum Optics 2015, Warsaw, Poland.
M. Jacquet and F. König (2014): "Quantum vacuum emission from a moving dielectric boundary". International School of Physics Enrico Fermi 2014: Frontiers in Modern Optics Summer Course, Varenna, Italy.
M. Jacquet (7 August 2017): “Negative frequency at the horizon: scattering of light at a refractive index front.” Invited by Philip Walther's Group, Vienna, Austria.
M. Jacquet (14 March 2017): “Negative frequency at the horizon: scattering of light at a refractive index front.” Invited by Simon Cornish's Group, Durham, United Kingdom.
M. Jacquet and F. König (8 August 2015): "Quantum vacuum emission from a moving refractive index front". SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications 2015 Symposium, Quantum Communications and Quantum Imaging XIII Conference, San Diego, CA.
M. Jacquet (13 April 2015): "Quantum vacuum emission from a refractive index front". IMPRS monthly meeting, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Erlangen, Germany.
G. Genty, M. Narhi, C. Amiot, M. Jacquet (2015): "Supercontinuum Generation in Optical Fibers". International School of Physics Enrico Fermi 2014: Frontiers in Modern Optics Summer Course, Varenna. Ed. Societa Italiana di Fisica.
M. Jacquet and F. König (2015): "Calculating spontaneous emission spectra from an optical event horizon". Published in the SPIE Newsroom on 5 November 2015.