Physics of our days

In search of lost time: attosecond physics, petahertz optoelectronics, and quantum speed limit

 a, b, c
a Lomonosov Moscow State University, Vorobevy Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
b Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA
c International Center for Quantum Optics and Quantum Technologies (the Russian Quantum Center), ul. Novaya 100, Skolkovo, Moscow Region, 143025, Russian Federation

Modern optical physics provides means to detect and resolve ultrafast processes on a time scale of tens of attoseconds. The physical interpretation of such measurements, however, remains the focus of heated debate. In its conceptual dimension, this debate reflects fundamental difficulties in defining time in quantum mechanics. En route toward resolving this difficulty, we are led to extend universal uncertainty relations to ultrafast light—matter interactions. Such a generalized uncertainty sets a lower bound on the response time inherent in attosecond electronic dynamics driven by ultrashort laser pulses, dictating a speed limit for next-generation photonic information systems—systems of petahertz optoelectronics.

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Keywords: optical physics, ultrashort laser pulses, quantum mechanics, uncertainty relations
PACS: 03.65.Ta, 42.65.Re, 78.47.J− (all)
DOI: 10.3367/UFNe.2020.11.038884
Citation: Zheltikov A M "In search of lost time: attosecond physics, petahertz optoelectronics, and quantum speed limit" Phys. Usp. 64 (4) (2021)

Received: 9th, August 2020, revised: 2nd, November 2020, 22nd, November 2020

Оригинал: Жёлтиков А М «В поисках утраченного времени: аттосекундная физика, петагерцовая оптоэлектроника и предельная скорость квантовой динамики» УФН 191 386–403 (2021); DOI: 10.3367/UFNr.2020.11.038884

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