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Haroche Experiment
Nondestructive Counting of Photons


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Serge Haroche.  French physicist born in 1944 in Casablanca.  In 1963, he ranked first in the Polytechnique entrance exam and third for ENS, which he chose to enter.  In 1971, he earned a doctorate under  Cohen-Tannoudji.  From 1974 to 1984, Haroche taught Quantum Mechanics at Polytechnique  (the author was a student of his, in the Fall of 1977).  Serge Haroche held the chair of Quantum Mechanics at the  Collège de France  from 2001 to 2015.

Facebook | Britannica ]       Aimé Cotton prize (1971).
Michelson Award (1993) from the Franklin Institute.
CNRS Gold Medal (2009)   |   Nobel Prize (Physics, 2012)

 Serge Haroche

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Laboratoire Kastler Brossel (LKB)  >  Information et Optique Quantique  >  cqed.orgSerge Haroche
Sorbonne Universités  >  Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC)  >  Research  >  Serge Haroche
PSL   |   Pinterest   |   France Culture  >  Dernières publications sur Serge Haroche

"Atome habillé" (Haroche, 1967-1971)  by  Bernard Cagnac  (Universalis).
Serge Haroche, Ph.D. - Publications  Academic Tree  (1975-2015).
16 thèses dirigées par Serge Haroche  (1988-2015).
Nobel Lab 360°  Serge Haroche.
Cavity Quantum Electrodynamics  by  S. Haroche  and  D. Kleppner  (1989).
Cavity QED  S. Haroche, J-M Raimond  (Scientific American, April 1993).
Death of a Photon...  Live   by  Claire Le Poulennec   (CNRS, July 2007).
Serge Haroche: Photon Tamer (2009 CNRS Gold Medal)  by  Emilie Badin.
Serge Haroche: Héritier des prix Nobel français  (Laurent Sacco, 2009-06-19)
Serge Haroche on Quantum OpticsInterview by  Emmanuelle Manck  (2009).
Interview with Serge Haroche   (Centre for Quantum Technologies, 2012).
2012 Nobel Prize in physics   (Reuters, 2012-10-09).
Nobel 2012:  Secret Life of Atoms  by  Dennis Overbye  (NYT, 2012-10-09).
Haroche and Wineland Win Nobel in Physics  (The Guardian, 2012-10-09).
Nobel de physique 2012  Cyrille Vanlerberghe  (Le Figaro, 2012-10-09).
Serge Haroche, l'attrape-photons   (Sciences & Avenir,  2012-10-11).
Quantum Computing Wins a Nobel  by  Joshua Rothman  (2012-10-12).
Tools for Quantum Tinkering:  2012 Nobel Prize  (APS, 2012-10-12).
Implications for quantum computing and security.  (Mocana, 2012-10-16).
Secrets of my prizewinning research  by S. Haroche  (Nature, 2012-10-17).
One step closer to the quantum future  by Marcelo Gleiser  (NPR, 2012-10-17).
Serge Haroche, Prix Nobel de Physique 2012  Michel Brune  (F2S, 2012-12).
Nobel Work:  Congratulations  (Joint Quantum Institute, 2012-12-17).
Transcript of Serge Haroche's Nobel lecture   (Rev. Mod. Phys. 85, 1083).
Zürich Physics Colloquium with Andreas Wallraff  (ETH Zürich, 2013-11-06).
Confined quantum Zeno dynamics of a watched atomic arrow  (Nature, 2014).
Serge Haroche:  Public Lectures at UBC   (CGF Vancouver, April-May 2015).
Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies   (UBC Vancouver, 2015).
Thought Experiments Made Real  Raimond & Brune  (CDF, 2015-10-29).
International Board of the Weizmann Institute of Science  (November 2015).
Exceptional Conference in Mulhouse  by  Serge Haroche  (EPS, June 2016).
Putting Light in a Box:  Haroche's Nobel Prize Winning Idea  (2016-10-19).
French Nobel Laureate Serge Haroche's visit to India.  Institut Français   (2017-01-17).
Jongler avec les atomes et les photonsTranscript by  C. Larcher  (2017-02-28).
Serge Haroche:  How I got there  by  Lan Anh Vu  (Huffpost, 2017-03-17).
Serge Haroche  ConCiencia  (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 2017-07-19).
Serge HarocheFestival de Ciencia  (Puerto de Ideas, 2018-04).
L'effort sur la science a trop ralentiSerge Haroche  (Les Echos, 2021-05-24).
Serge Haroche (b.1944; ENS 1963)  |  Jean-Michel Raimond (b.1955; ENS 1975)  |  Michel Brune (ENS 1983)
Wikipedia :   Cavity QED   |   Quantum optics   |   Quantum information

ISBN 0-19-850914-6   Exploring the Quantum:  Atoms, Cavities and Photons
by Serge Haroche and Jean-Michel Raimond  (Oxford Graduate Texts, 2006).

Videos :   Serge Haroche, premier à l'X, troisième à Ulm  (1963-12-06).
La physique quantique (1:12:08)  by  Serge Haroche  (UTLS, 2000-07-31).
Leçon inaugurale de Serge Haroche au Collège de France   (2001-12-13).
Serge Haroche, un arpenteur du monde quantique   (2009).
Electrodynamique quantique en cavité   Serge Haroche   (SFP, Bordeaux 2011).
Quantum Feedback Control  Serge Haroche  (Nordita Colloquium, 2011-10-18).
Official Presentation of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics  (2012-10-09).
Announcement of the Nobel Prize in Physics  by  Brady Haran  (2012-10-09).
How do we see lightMinute Physics  by  Henry Reich  (2012-10-09).
Telephone interview  by  Adam Smith  (nobelprize.org,  2012-10-10).
Serge Haroche, Prix Nobel de physique  by  Paul Indélicato  (2012-10-11).
Serge Haroche, Prix Nobel de physique 2012  (France-Inter, 2012-10-11).
L'étrangeté quantique:  Serge Haroche  (Collège de France, Dec. 2012).
Nobel Lecture by Serge Haroche  (2012-12-08).
Nobel Lecture at Uppsala University  (2012-12-13).
"L'enseignement et la recherche"  by  Serge Haroche  (2013-01-14).
Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings:  Serge Haroche videos (2013, 2015, 2016).
Public Lecture and Q & A  by  Serge Haroche  (IQC, May 2013).
Studies of decoherence  by  Serge Haroche  (IQC, May 2013).
La physique quantique 100 ans après Bohr (1:40:31)  Cité  (Oct. 2013).
Conférence de Serge Haroche à l'Ecole Polytechnique   (2014-03-27).
Shedding new light on Schrödinger's cat  (Schrödinger Lecture 2014, ICL).
Le chat de Schrödinger sous un nouvel éclairage.  (ESPCI, 2015-01-15).
Light and the Quantum:  Opening ceremony, 2015 International Year of Light.
Chats de Schrödinger et décohérenceJean-Michel Raimond  (2015-01-29).
Contrôle non-destructif de photons en cavité.  Serge Haroche  (IHES, 2015-01-29).
Septième Tables Rondes de l'Arbois  (Aix-en-Provence, March 2015).
Light and the Quantum  Serge Haroche  (The Royal Institution, Nov. 2015).
Fifty Years of Revolutions in Laser Physics  Serge Haroche  (CityU, 2015-11).
La lumière invisible  by  Serge Haroche  (end of IYL in France, Dec. 2015).
Serge Haroche at Bar-Ilan University  (Doctor Honoris Causa, 2016-06-07).
Serge Haroche et la boîte à photons  (in French)  Arte  (2016-07-05).
Message of Serge Haroche to Korean students  (KTN, 2016-09-20).
Light-filled box.  Animation with the voice of Serge Haroche   (2016-09-26).
10 ans de  La Tête au CarréLe complotisme ambiant  (2016-11-30).
Power & Strangeness of the Quantum (+ Part 2)  by  S. Haroche  (ISC 2017).
Jongler avec des atomes et des photons  by  Serge Haroche   (2017-02-28).
Puissance et étrangeté de la physique quantique (1:31:43)  IPR  (2018-01-30).

Serge Haroche at Sahyadri Conclave 2018:
  • 2018-01-07 09:00   [ 1  |  2 ]   Controlling a single photon in a box.
  • 2018-01-07 14:00   [ 1  |  2 ]   Walk the Talk.
  • 2018-01-08 11:30   [ 1  |  2 ]   How the laser has revolutionized physics.
  • 2018-01-08 14:00   [ 1  |  2 ]   Light, matter & water.
Serge Haroche visits ALMA antennas  (Atacama Large Millimiter Array, 2018-04-23).
Serge Haroche & David J. Wineland  (69th Lindau meeting, 2019-07-03).
 International Year of Light 2015
Year of Light
Light-Based Technologies
 International Year of Light

Counting Photons without Destroying Them
A review of the components of the Haroche experiment at ENS.

(2017-06-14)   Genealogy, career and personal life of Serge Haroche :

Family Roots :

Serge Haroche was born on 11 September 1944,  in Casablanca,  to a Sephardic father and a Russian-born Ashkenazic mother.

  • His father :  Albert Haroche (1920-1998)  was a Rabat-trained lawyer whose parents both worked as teachers at various schools of the  Alliance Israélite (AIU)  network.  They ended up heading the AIU boys' school and girls' school, respectively, in Salé  (across the river from Rabat)  where Albert was one of their seven children.  Both parents had been students at the AIU in their respective hometowns.
    • Isaac Haroche (1890-1962)  was born in Marrakesh.  to the  Harrosh  family of Marrakesh,  descendants of Sephardim expelled from Spain by the  Alhambra Decree  of 1492.
    • Esther Azerad (1893-1968)  was raised in Tétouan  where she attended the first AIU school, founded there in 1862.
  • His mother :  Valentine Roublev (1921-1998) was born in Odessa to a family of physicians who left Ukraine in the early 1920s.  They relocated to Casablanca because their Russian medical degrees were recognized in Morocco.  Valentine met Albert Haroche in Rabat as she was studying to become a teacher of French and German literature.  (In Rabat, the Institute of Letters was created in 1912,  the Institude of Law was created in 1920.)  At first,  Serge Haroche was home-schooled by his mother in French and Russian.  He lost his Russian fluency when he started attending elementary school at the age of 6.  The maternal grandparents of Serge Haroche were:
    • Alexandre Roublev (1897-1984).  Apparently, he eventually left Morocco and relocated to the United States, obtaining a medical degree from Columbia in 1958.
    • Sophie Roublev, née Fromstein  (1896-1977).

  Albert and Valentine Haroche had  5  children.  One died in infancy:
 Josh Harel
Joël Haroche
  1. Georges Haroche  (1942-1943).
  2. Serge Haroche  our subject  (b.1944, in Casablanca).
  3. Joël Haroche  (b. 1948)  a.k.a.  Josh Harel.  Lawyer, author.  He is the father of the pop singer  Raphaël  (born 1975-11-07).
  4. Gilles Haroche  Born in Casablanca (1951-09-20).  Physician:
    Interne des hôpitaux de Paris  in 1976.  After earning his doctorate in 1982,  Gilles was named  chef de clinique  in the infectious-disease service of  Pr. Christian Lafaix  (c.1934-2015)  at the  CHI  of  Villeneuve-Saint-Georges  (CHIV)  where he became an AIDS specialist.
    In 1979,  with the help of his brother Joël, Gilles Haroche founded the  Journal international de médecine,  offering translations of medical articles from major journals  (JIM, 1979-1998, 398 issues).  In 1985,  he created  Abstracts de spécialités,  providing French translations of abstracts of articles in nine different medical specialties.  In 1995,  he started publishing a medical magazine for the general public:  Univers Santé.  His publishing group  (Valdemars publications)  was sold to  Impact Médecin in 1999.  Gilles Haroche retained only the online version of JIM.
  5. Michel Haroche,  born in Paris  (1959-2009).

Since 1965,  Serge Haroche  has been married to the  sociologist  Claudine Haroche  (née Zeligson)  whose parents were married in 1936:

  • [Louis] Casimir Zeligson  was a successful architect.
  • Raymonde Zelligson  (née Sandberg)  passed away in 2008.

Serge and Claudine had been playmates as kids from the Jewish community of Russian  émigrés  in Casablanca  (so was Serge's younger brother Joël).  They drifted apart for 15 years before meeting again in Paris,  by chance,  in the Spring of 1964.  They have two grown children:

Early Life :

Like many French-educated Jewish families from Morocco,  the parents of Serge Haroche relocated to France in 1956,  at the end of the  French protectorate in Morocco.  Three of their sons  (Serge, Joël, Gilles)  were born in Morocco.  The fourth one  (Michel)  was born in Paris, in 1959.

Serge Haroche received his secondary education at the  Lycée Carnot  (Baccalauréat in 1961).  Then he spent two years of  classes préparatoires  (Maths Sup, Maths Spé)  at the prestigious  Lycée Louis-le-Grand.  In the Summer of 1963,  Serge Haroche ranked first in the Polytechnique entrance contest and third for ENS, which he chose to enter.  From 1963 to 1967,  Haroche was an  ENS  student in Paris,  attending lectures by the likes of  Alfred Kastler (1902-1984; Nobel 1966)  and  Claude Cohen-Tanoudji (b. 1933; Nobel 1997),  his future doctoral adviser.

He graduated in 1967 with an  Agrégation  and  Doctorat de troisième cycle.

Career :

In 1971, Serge Haroche earned a doctorate from  Pierre and Marie Curie University  (UPMC,  Paris VI)  under Claude Cohen-Tannoudji.  His doctoral examining committee was stellar.  It consisted of:

In 1972-1973,  Haroche was a post-doc in the lab of  Art Schawlow (1921-1999; Nobel 1981)  at  Stanford.

From 1974 to 1984, Haroche taught Quantum Mechanics at Polytechnique  (where, incidentally, the author was a student of his, in the Fall of 1977).

Serge Haroche was full professor at Paris VI  (UPMC)  from 1975 to 2001 and head of the Physics department at the  Ecole Normale Supérieure  from 1994 to 2000.

He held the chair of Quantum Mechanics at the  Collège de France  from 2001 to 2015.  Shortly before receiving the Nobel Prize in 2012,  he was elected Administrator of the  Collège de France,  for a 3-year term.

In 2013,  Serge Haroche became a Commander in the French  Legion of Honor.  He was nominated Grand Officer on 14 july 2017 (to take effect at a ceremony to be scheduled by himself, within two years).

Haroche is a member of the French  Académie des sciences  and a Foreign Member of the  US  National Academy of Sciences.

Origines et généalogie de Serge Haroche, prix Nobel de physique  by  Jean-Louis Beaucarnot  (2012-10-09)
Descendants of Albert Haroche   |   Haroche Family Tree  by  Randy Schoenberg.   |   Namespedia
CV 2011   |   Autobiography of Serge Haroche (The Nobel Foundation,  2012)   |   Wikipedia

 Niels Bohr 
 (1885-1962)  Albert Einstein 
(2015-08-30)   Weighing a Box of Photons  (1930)
A paradox devised by  Einstein  and solved by  Niels Bohr.

In 1930, Einstein proposed a thought-experiment which seemed to refute the  uncertainty principle applied to time and energy.  The very foundations of  Quantum Theory were threatened...

 Bohr-Einstein photon box At left is Bohr's own depiction of the apparatus that the Einstein experiment would involve.  The box is supposed to trap photons indefinitely with perfectly reflective walls.

Einstein argued that a shutter can be opened for an arbitrarily small amount of time  Dmeasured  by the attached clock.

As the energy of the closed box can be determined with arbitrary precision by weighing it over long periods of time,  so can the difference  DE  corresponding to light released at a time  t  known with the aforementioned arbitrarily small precision  Dt.

DE   =   ( M0 - M1 ) c 2

After a sleepless night, Bohr discovered the fallacy in Einstein's argument using, ironically, Einstein's own  General Theory of Relativity:

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Interpreting the Quantum World:  The Clock in the Box  (Nobel Media, 2017).
Wikipedia :   Bohr-Einstein debates

(2017-05-27)   The Micromaser (Herbert Walther, 1984)
The first time the  strong coupling regime  of CQED was obtained.

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Herbert Walther (1935-2006)   |   Dieter Meschede (1954-) DPG

(2015-09-06)   Purcell Effect

The  Purcell effect  is the enhancement of the  spontaneous emission rate  of fluorescent atoms in a resonant cavity.

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Wikipedia :   Purcell effect   |   Edward Mills Purcell (1912-1997)   |   Felix Bloch (1905-1983)   |   Nobel 1952
21 cm Hydrogen Line  (H.I. Ewen & Ed Purcell, Harvard 1951)   1420.4057517667(9) MHz

(2015-09-06)   Quantum Non-Demolition  (QND)  Measurement

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Quantum nondemolition measurement   |   Vladimir Borisovitch Braginsky (b. 1931)
Quantum nondemolition measurement of small photon numbers by Rydberg-atom phase-sensitive detection
by  M. Brune,  S. Haroche,  V. Lefevre,  J. M. Raimond  &  N. Zagury.   Phys. Rev. Lett.  65, 976  (1990-08-20).

(2015-08-28)   Circular Rydberg Atoms  [of Rubidium]
Excited atoms whose outermost electron orbits at a large distance.

Rydberg atom  is a neutral atom of either hydrogen or some  alkali metal  whose outermost electron has a very high principal quantum number  (n).  The Haroche group used mostly rubidium atoms  (Rb)  with n=50 and n=51.

Circular Rydberg atoms  are Rydberg atoms whose outer electrons have maximal  orbital  (l)  and  magnetic  (m)  quantum numbers.

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Atoms in Circular States (CQED)   |   Dan Kleppner (b. 1932)   |   Randy Hulet (b. 1956)
Wikipedia :   Rydberg atom

(2015-08-30)   Rydberg Clock   (0.1 ppm  accuracy)
Quantum superposition  of two states  (n=50 & n=51)  of a Rydberg atom.

The superposition of two adjacent circular Rydberg states  |g>  (n=50)  and  |e>  (n=51)  looks like a rotating  electric dipole.

For rubidium  (Rb)  the transition between  |e>  and  |g>  corresponds to a microwave frequency of  51.099 GHz  (5.8669 mm wavelength).

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Jaynes-Cummings Hamiltonian

(2017-06-09)   The Jaynes-Cummings Model   (1963)
The JCM Hamiltonian describes a two-level atom in an optical cavity.

Frederick W. Cummings  was born in 1931  (New Orleans, LA)  and obtained his Ph.D. at Stanford in 1962 under  E. T. Jaynes (1922-1998).

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Wikipedia :   Jaynes-Cummings model (1963)
Edwin Jaynes (1922-1998, PhD, 1948)   |   Fred Cummings (1931-, PhD 1962, LinkedIn)

(2015-08-30)   Fabry-Pérot Cavity
Polarized open cavity.

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Fabry-Pérot interferometer (1899)   |   Charles Fabry (1867-1945; X1885)   |   Alfred Pérot (1863-1925; X1882)
Gires-Tournois interferometer (1964)   |   François Gires (1931-2013)   |   Pierre Tournois (1936-2017)

(2015-09-05)   Superconductivity of Niobium  (Nb)
Photons bounce 0.13 s between two copper mirrors coated with niobium.

The name  Niobium  has been officially adopted internationally since 1949,  but the former American name of  Columbium  (Cb)  is still used by some metallurgists.  The antiquated name also survives in publications from the  US Geological Survey.

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Chemical elements   |   Niobium   |   Superconductivity

(2015-08-31)   Fock States and Fock Base
Quantum states corresponding to a well-defined number of particles.

Vladimir Aleksandrovich Fock  (1898-1974)  derived the  Klein-Gordon equation in 1926.

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Fock state   |   Fock space   |   Vladimir A. Fock (1898-1974)

(2015-08-31)   Phase of the Electromagnetic Field
Conjugate quantity  of the number of photons.

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Fock state   |   Fock space   |   Vladimir A. Fock (1898-1974)

(2015-11-12)   Coherent States   (Roy J. Glauber, 1963)
States with a well-defined amplitude and phase.

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Wikipedia :   Coherent states   |   Roy Jay Glauber (1925-, Nobel 2005)

(2015-08-30)   Light-Shift Effect   (Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, 1961)

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Zeeman slower (Nobel 1997)  |  W.D. Phillips (1948-)  |  S. Chu  |  Claude Cohen-Tannoudji (1933-; ENS 1953)
"Culture Physiques" (videos hosted by Etienne Klein) :  Qu'est-ce-que la lumière?   1  |  2  |  3  |  4
Claude Cohen-Tannoudji  (1:04:08, 53:47)  by  Etienne Klein  (2020-02-11).
Refroidissement et piégeage par laser (1:18:27)  by  Cohen-Tannoudji  (Centrale-SupĂ©lec, 2017-03-20).

(2015-09-05)   Rabi Oscillations at  50 kHz
Damped oscillations of an excited atom in an electromagnetic resonator.

I.I. Rabi (1898-1988; Nobel 1944) was head of the wartime  Radiation Laboratory  at MIT.  He discovered nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in molecular beams.

|i> n=49

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Wikipedia :   Rabi flop   |   Vacuum Rabi oscillation   |   Rabi frequency

(2015-08-30)   Ramsey Interferometer   (Norman Ramsey, 1949)
The separated oscillatory field method.

Norman Ramsey  (1915-2011; Nobel 1989) earned his doctorate at Columbia under Rabi.  He was himself the doctoral advisor of  David J. Wineland, who shared the Nobel Prize for physics with  Serge Haroche  in 2012.

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Ramsey interferometer   |   Norman Ramsey (1915-2011)   |   Ph.D. 1940   |   Nobel 1989   |   Genealogy

(2017-06-21)   Circuit Quantum Electrodynamics   (Circuit QED)
Solid-state equivalents of Haroche's experiment.

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Wikipedia :   Circuit quantum electrodynamics   |   Quantum information science   |   Quantum information

(2018-06-22)   Questions and Answers.  Forum Discussions.
The Haroche experiments have raised a number of different issues.

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Wikipedia :   Circuit quantum electrodynamics   |   Quantum information science   |   Quantum information

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