About Peter Thomas Rakich's Work
Phonons, the quantum particles of sound, have the capacity to store, control, and manipulate information, with many abilities far exceeding that of their photon counterparts. For example, phonons can store information for billions of times longer than is currently feasible with electromagnetic systems, granting access to powerful new regimes of quantum dynamics; to date these regimes of phonon coherence haven’t been accessible. My research program aims to fill this critical gap, opening the door to the nascent field of Quantum Phononics. Through a combination of theory and materials physics studies, I demonstrate how we can harness such astounding phonon lifetimes using optical techniques to create and annihilate individual phonons. I show that this research serves as the foundation for a range of powerful new engineerable quantum interactions, with practical uses including precision metrology, sensing, and information processing technologies of unrivaled performance.