[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a method to compute Casimir forces in arbitrary geometries and for arbitrary materials based on the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) scheme. The method involves the time evolution of electric and magnetic fields in response to a set of current sources, in a modified medium with frequency-independent conductivity. The advantage of this approach is that it allows one to exploit existing FDTD software, without modification, to compute Casimir forces. In this paper, we focus on the derivation, implementation choices, and essential properties of the time-domain algorithm, both considered analytically and illustrated in the simplest parallel-plate geometry.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Focus Serial: Frontiers of Nonlinear Optics
Nonlinear photonic-crystal microresonators offer unique fundamental ways of enhancing a variety of nonlinear optical processes. This enhancement improves the performance of nonlinear optical devices to such an extent that their corresponding operation powers and switching times are suitable for their implementation in realistic ultrafast integrated optical devices. Here, we review three different nonlinear optical phenomena that can be strongly enhanced in photonic crystal microcavities. First, we discuss a system in which this enhancement has been successfully demonstrated both theoretically and experimentally, namely, a photonic crystal cavity showing optical bistability properties. In this part, we also present the physical basis for this dramatic improvement with respect to the case of traditional nonlinear devices based on nonlinear Fabry-Perot etalons. Secondly, we show how nonlinear photonic crystal cavities can be also used to obtain complete second-harmonic frequency conversion at very low input powers. Finally, we demonstrate that the nonlinear susceptibility of materials can be strongly modified via the so-called Purcell effect, present in the resonant cavities under study.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a method of computing Casimir forces for arbitrary geometries, with any desired accuracy, that can directly exploit the efficiency of standard numerical-electromagnetism techniques. Using the simplest possible finite-difference implementation of this approach, we obtain both agreement with past results for cylinder-plate geometries, and also present results for new geometries. In particular, we examine a pistonlike problem involving two dielectric and metallic squares sliding between two metallic walls, in two and three dimensions, respectively, and demonstrate nonadditive and nonmonotonic changes in the force due to these lateral walls.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We predict that the effective nonlinear optical susceptibility can be tailored using the Purcell effect. While this is a general physical principle that applies to a wide variety of nonlinearities, we specifically investigate the Kerr nonlinearity. We show theoretically that using the Purcell effect for frequencies close to an atomic resonance can substantially influence the resultant Kerr nonlinearity for light of all (even highly detuned) frequencies. For example, in realistic physical systems, enhancement of the Kerr coefficient by one to two orders of magnitude could be achieved.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe a numerical method to compute Casimir forces in arbitrary geometries, for arbitrary dielectric and metallic materials, with arbitrary accuracy (given sufficient computational resources). Our approach, based on well-established integration of the mean stress tensor evaluated via the fluctuation-dissipation theorem, is designed to directly exploit fast methods developed for classical computational electromagnetism, since it only involves repeated evaluation of the Green's function for imaginary frequencies (equivalently, real frequencies in imaginary time). We develop the approach by systematically examining various formulations of Casimir forces from the previous decades and evaluating them according to their suitability for numerical computation. We illustrate our approach with a simple finite-difference frequency-domain implementation, test it for known geometries such as a cylinder and a plate, and apply it to new geometries. In particular, we show that a piston-like geometry of two squares sliding between metal walls, in both two and three dimensions with both perfect and realistic metallic materials, exhibits a surprising non-monotonic ``lateral'' force from the walls. Comment: Published in Physical Review A, vol. 76, page 032106 (2007)
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) methods suffer from reduced accuracy when modeling discontinuous dielectric materials, due to the inhererent discretization (pixelization). We show that accuracy can be significantly improved by using a subpixel smoothing of the dielectric function, but only if the smoothing scheme is properly designed. We develop such a scheme based on a simple criterion taken from perturbation theory and compare it with other published FDTD smoothing methods. In addition to consistently achieving the smallest errors, our scheme is the only one that attains quadratic convergence with resolution for arbitrarily sloped interfaces. Finally, we discuss additional difficulties that arise for sharp dielectric corners.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper demonstrates switching of a single signal photon by a single gating photon of a different frequency, via a cross-phase-modulation. This effect is mediated by materials exhibiting electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT), which are embedded in photonic crystals (PhCs). An analytical model based on waveguide-cavity QED is constructed for our system, which consists of a PhC waveguide and a PhC microcavity containing a four-level EIT atom. It is solved exactly and analyzed using experimentally accessible parameters. It is found that the strong coupling regime is required for lossless two-photon quantum entanglement.