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Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Nov 7;101(19):193902. Epub 2008 Nov 6.

Optical BLOCH oscillations and Zener tunneling with nonclassical light.

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Dipartimento di Fisica and Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie del CNR, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza L. da Vinci 32, I-20133 Milano, Italy.


A quantum theory of optical Bloch oscillations and Zener tunneling (ZT) in arrays of coupled waveguides is theoretically presented, and the particlelike behavior of photons undergoing ZT is highlighted. In singly-periodic arrays excited by a photon-number-state input beam, each photon behaves as a classical particle which independently undergoes a coin-toss ZT event with a probability described by classical Zener theory. In binary arrays, excitation with two tilted beams enables us to observe the Hong-Ou-Mandel interference for two photons undergoing Bloch-Zener oscillations.

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