Quantum and nonlinear optics with hard X-rays

Ralf Röhlsberger, Jörg Evers, Sharon Shwartz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


With the increasing brilliance of modern synchrotron radiation sources and freeelectron lasers, the observation of nonlinear and quantum optical phenomena at x-ray wavelengths has come into reach. Single-photon x-ray detectors with quantum efficiency near unity and photon-number resolving capabilities are commercially available. Consequently, fundamental concepts in quantum optics can now also be studied in the x-ray portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. A key role in theoretical and experimental studies in x-ray quantum optics is played by the nuclear resonances of Mössbauer isotopes, the excitation of which became more and more efficient with increasing spectral flux delivered by these sources. The narrow resonance bandwidth facilitates to probe fundamental aspects of the light-matter interaction. A very sensitive manipulation of this interaction is possible by embedding Mössbauer nuclei in x-ray cavities. This allows one to prepare collective radiative eigenstates which open new avenues to establish concepts of quantum control in the x-ray regime via generation of coherences between nuclear levels. Moreover, the large number of vacuum field modes in the x-ray regime enables one to produce and probe nonclassical states of x-ray radiation and has opened the field of nonlinear x-ray optics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSynchrotron Light Sources and Free-Electron Lasers
Subtitle of host publicationAccelerator Physics, Instrumentation and Science Applications
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9783030232016
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Mössbauer effect
  • Nonlinear optics
  • Nuclear resonance
  • Quantum optics
  • X-ray cavities
  • X-ray free-electron lasers

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Materials Science
  • General Medicine


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