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Radiation-matter interaction

Research project P4/07 (Research action P4)

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The main objective of this IAP is to study the generation of coherent light and light-matter interactions in the IR-to-gamma-ray range. To this end, teams at three different universities (ULB, FPMs, KUL) are collaborating on both fundamental and applied problems.

Photonic communications using optical fibres have undergone considerable scientific and technological development over the last decades. The ULB and FPMs teams are reputed for their contributions on fiber-based ultrafast signal processing devices for telecommunications. By joining forces, they increase their competence in this domain with the goal of becoming an active player in Europe. They presently collaborate on the design of new types of ultrahigh repetition rate pico- and subpicosecond fiber laser sources and of doped fiber amplifiers for different signal wavelengths.

The stability of laser sources is a second key topic of this IAP. Semiconductor lasers have a wide range of applications and are part of our everyday life (bar code readers at the supermarket, compact disk players, laser printers, etc.). Yet despite their technological successes, semiconductor lasers are unstable devices. The ULB and FPMs teams are dedicated to exploring these instabilities systematically and to developing methods for controlling them. Similarly, ULB participants have focused on the stability of soliton laser sources and on transverse structures appearing in lasers; they expect to design new types of stable solitons for future transmission systems.

The study of coherence in nuclear systems has led to the new field of quantum nucleonics. The ULB team has extensive expertise in quantum optics and electronics and the KUL team in quantum nucleonics, so they join their efforts to determine analytically if a coherent gamma ray source can be produced from an ensemble of excited nuclei. Coherent excitation and special coherent nuclear states play a crucial role here. The KUL team also investigates, in collaboration with the ULB team, particular aspects of spatial coherence in nuclear realm in order to study the possibility of cooperative effects in stimulated gamma emission and of performing holography with gamma rays.

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