The Power of Modifying Nonlinearities: A Framework for Controlling Physical Systems

Researchers from the Science Faculty at ULB have developed a ground-breaking framework that allows for the modification and control of nonlinearities in various physical systems. The framework extends to optical devices and quantum atomic gases, presenting a path to engineer unconventional optical nonlinearities and controllable interactions in ultracold quantum matter.

Nature governs how particles interact with one another, but under special circumstances, the nature of these interactions can be altered. By subjecting a system to a time-periodic modulation, researchers can manipulate the properties of the system. This approach, known as Floquet engineering, has been widely explored in atomic and solid-state physics.

Using a quantum theoretical approach, the scientists demonstrate how a carefully designed pulse sequence can generate new interaction processes between particles, leading to the emergence of exotic and highly controllable nonlinearities. They further expand this strategy to synthetic lattice systems and show how drive-induced interaction processes can stabilize new phases of matter through the spontaneous occurrence of magnetic fluxes.

The implications of this research are vast. By modifying and controlling nonlinearities, researchers have the potential to usher in a wave of innovative technologies and uncover fundamentally new phases of matter. Optical nonlinearities, for example, are at the core of many optical devices that have revolutionized industries. Similarly, controllable interactions in quantum atomic gases can unlock new possibilities for quantum computing and simulation.

The framework developed by the ULB team opens up exciting avenues for the engineering of nonlinearities in photonic devices and the manipulation of interactions in ultracold quantum matter. As scientists continue to explore and refine these techniques, we can expect to witness groundbreaking advancements in various fields of science and technology.


What are nonlinearities in physics?

Nonlinearities refer to the behavior of a physical system that does not follow a linear relationship. In linear systems, the output is directly proportional to the input. However, in nonlinear systems, the output shows a complex relationship with the input, often exhibiting unexpected or unconventional behavior.

How can nonlinearities be modified and controlled?

Researchers can modify and control nonlinearities by subjecting a system to a time-periodic modulation. This approach, known as Floquet engineering, involves designing a pulse sequence that alters the properties of the system. By carefully manipulating the interactions between particles, new and controllable nonlinearities can emerge.

What are the potential applications of modifying nonlinearities?

Modifying nonlinearities opens up possibilities for innovative technologies and the exploration of new phases of matter. In the field of optics, engineering unconventional optical nonlinearities can lead to advancements in optical devices. In quantum atomic gases, controllable interactions can be leveraged for quantum computing and simulation. These applications have the potential to revolutionize industries and pave the way for quantum technologies of the future.

(Source: [Université libre de Bruxelles](