Control of quantum electrodynamical processes by shaping electron wavepackets
Author(s)Wong, Liang Jie; Rivera, Nicholas; Murdia, Chitraang; Christensen, Thomas; Joannopoulos, John D; Soljačić, Marin; Kaminer, Ido; ... Show more Show less
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Fundamental quantum electrodynamical (QED) processes, such as spontaneous emission and electron-photon scattering, encompass phenomena that underlie much of modern science and technology. Conventionally, calculations in QED and other field theories treat incoming particles as single-momentum states, omitting the possibility that coherent superposition states, i.e., shaped wavepackets, can alter fundamental scattering processes. Here, we show that free electron waveshaping can be used to design interferences between two or more pathways in a QED process, enabling precise control over the rate of that process. As an example, we show that free electron waveshaping modifies both spatial and spectral characteristics of bremsstrahlung emission, leading for instance to enhancements in directionality and monochromaticity. The ability to tailor general QED processes opens up additional avenues of control in phenomena ranging from optical excitation (e.g., plasmon and phonon emission) in electron microscopy to free electron lasing in the quantum regime.
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Wong, Liang Jie, Rivera, Nicholas, Murdia, Chitraang, Christensen, Thomas, Joannopoulos, John D et al. 2021. "Control of quantum electrodynamical processes by shaping electron wavepackets." Nature Communications, 12 (1).
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