The quantum optics group at PUCP develops theoretical and experimental research in different subjects of current interest, such as geometric phases, fundamental tests of quantum mechanics, open quantum systems, quantum information theory, two-level systems interacting with quantized fields, and others. Our research activities in quantum optics arose from a co-operation in atomic physics between members of PUCP and Colgate University (Hamilton, NY). This was followed by research conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) in the field of micromaser theory beyond the rotating-wave-approximation. Fundamental tests of quantum mechanics were also addressed theoretically (at PUCP) and experimentally (in co-operation with Colgate University). From 2008 on, experimental research has been conducted at PUCP using both classical and quantum light sources. Our efforts have mainly focused on the generation and measurement of geometric phases using interferometric and polarimetric setups. We can manipulate with great versatility pure and mixed polarization states of classical and quantum light. This allows us to explore several features of geometric phases that had remained inaccessible to other means. Entangled states of different kinds serve also to generate geometric and topological phases, subjecting them to decoherence and studying thereby their robustness under simulated noise sources. This is important for applications in quantum information, which is also a subject of research in our group. This research field includes the design of quantum logic gates that accomplish different processes, the simulation of quantum deleters and faster-than-light signaling, etc. The dynamics of entanglement is also addressed in the framework of quantum open systems, for which generation and manipulation of mixed states constitute key resources. We have developed novel techniques to generate partially polarized states of classical and quantum light.
Besides faculty members, advanced undergraduate and graduate students also integrate the quantum optics group at PUCP. Students have been trained in our laboratory and also through stays at laboratories abroad, such as the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (Erlangen, Germany), Colgate University (Hamilton, NY), University of Concepción (Chile), and Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil).
We have also developed collaborative efforts with the University of the Basque Country (Spain), the University of Queensland (Australia), and the University of Valencia (Spain). These efforts are planned to be extended thanks to financial support received from Concytec/Fondecyt.