A Visit to the Laser Teaching Center

Published on: Tue Oct 19 2010

I stopped by the Laser Teaching Center today, to talk with Dr. Noe. He had sent me two abstracts for two talk's this week on Quantum Information, which I am planning on attending now. Right now my knowledge on Quantum Information is quite limited and I was explaining how each time I begin to read about it I spend a good deal of time reading about the terminology in general. For example, last week I tried to read a book from the school Library on Quantum computing but after the fourth page realized I needed to learn how to understand Hilbert space. So I put the book down and went off researching Hilbert Space and Bra-Ket notation

The Foundations of Quantum Mechanics class I am taking has been helping quite a lot with providing a guide of what to focus on learning though to begin to understand QM. Which lead to talking about the paper for QM class I am writing about Michael Faraday, which lead to talking about Faraday's effect within optics.

Dr Noe had a sample of Terbium Gallium Garnet, which is a material that exhibits a very high Faraday effect due to its high Verdet constant. He was also explaining about how a Faraday Isolator is a sort of optical diode, to prevent light of a specified wavelength from reflecting back towards the source.

During my research on Faraday's Effect for the paper, I remembered how he was unable to observe the effect in water, but Dr Noe was telling me about how it is possible to observe this effect now, by using an optical material to polarize light into darkness and then set a magnetic oscillator to cause the polarization to change slightly, and permit a slight flicker in the darkness of the polarization, enabling one to measure the Verdet Constant of water. Then using a Lock In Amplifier you observe the flicker to isolate the frequency which matches the frequency of the magnetic flicker.

We also talked about how to use complex numbers for a little bit, and how easy it can be to use complex numbers for wave functions. And Dr Noe mentioned how at the Liago experiment, where they are setting off to measure very small shifts in interference patterns between two mirrors a kilometer apart, the principles of Quantum Error Correction, which will be the subject of one of the talks this week, is being applied to achieve more accurate measurements.