Daniel J. Gauthier

Image of Daniel J. Gauthier

Robert C. Richardson Professor (primary appt: Physics)

Contact Information:

OpticsUniversity of Rochester1989
OpticsUniversity of Rochester1983
OpticsUniversity of Rochester1982

Research Interests:

Prof. Gauthier is interested in a broad range of topics in the fields of nonlinear and quantum optics, and nonlinear dynamical systems.

In the area of optical physics, his group is studying the fundamental characteristics of highly nonlinear light-matter interactions at both the classical and quantum levels and is using this understanding to develop practical devices.

At the quantum level, his group has three major efforts in the area of quantum communication and networking. In one project, they are investigating hybrid quantum memories where one type of memory is connected to another through the optical field (so-called flying qubits). In particular, they are exploring nonlinear optical methods for frequency converting and impedance matching photons emitted from one type of quantum memory (e.g., trapped ions) to another (e.g., quantum dots).

In another project, they are exploring methods for efficiently transmitting a large number of bits of information per photon. They are encoding information on the various photon degrees of freedom, such as the transverse modes, one photon at a time, and using efficient mode sorters to direct the photons to single-photon detectors. The experiments make use of multi-mode spontaneous down conversion in a nonlinear crystal to produce quantum correlated or entangled photon pairs.

Another recent interest is the development of the world's most sensitive all-optical switch. Currently, they have observed switching with an energy density as low as a few hundred yoctoJoules per atomic cross-section, indicating that the switch should be able to operate at the single-photon level. The experiments use a quasi-one-dimensional ultra-cold gas of rubidium atoms as the nonlinear material. They take advantage of a one-dimensional optical lattice to greatly increase the nonlinear light-matter interaction strength.

In the area of nonlinear dynamics, his group is interested in the control and synchronization of chaotic devices, especially optical and radio-frequency electronic systems.  They are developing new methods for private communication of information using chaotic carriers, using chaotic elements for distance sensing (e.g., low-probability-of-detection radar), using networks of chaotic elements for remote sensing, and using chaotic elements for generating truly random numbers at high data rates. Recently, the have observed 'Boolean chaos,' where complex behavior is observed in a small network of commercially-available free-running logic gates.


Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
Heart, Electrophysiology
Experimental condensed matter physics
Nonlinear dynamics and complex systems

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions:

  • Robert C. Richardson Professor of Physics, Duke University
  • Outstanding Referee of the Physical Review and Physical Review Letters, American Physical Society, November, 2009
  • Fellow, Optical Society of America, October, 2006
  • Young Investigator, National Science Foundation, July 1993 - June 1998
  • Young Investigator, U.S. Army Research Office, July 1992 - June 1995
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society, Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
  • Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Associate Professor of Physics, Duke University, 2002-2007
  • Barbara and Randal Smith and Duke University Faculty Enrichment Award, Duke University, July 2000 - June 2001
  • Honorary Faculty Member, Golden Key National Honor Society

Courses Taught:

Representative Publications: (More Publications)
    • H. L. D. de S. Cavalcante, M. Oriá, D. Sornette, E. Ott,and D. J. Gauthier, Precidtability and suppression of extreme events in a chaotic system, Phys. Rev. Lett., vol 111 (November, 2013), pp. 198701 [pdf].
    • D.P. Rosin, D. Rontani, and D.J. Gauthier, Synchronization of coupled Boolean phase oscillators,' submitted for publication (Submitted, November, 2013) [2996].
    • M. Stipcevic and D.J. Gauthier, Precise Monte Carlo simulations of single-photon detectors, SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing, Advanced Photon Counting Techniques VII, vol 8727 (November, 2013), pp. 87270K [pdf].
    • S.D. Cohen, A. Aragoneses, D. Rontani, M.C. Torrent, C. Masoller, and D.J. Gauthier, Multimensional subwavelength position sensing using a semiconductor laser with optical feedback, Opt Lett., vol 38 (September, 2013), pp. 4331 [pdf].
    • M. Stipcevic and D.J. Gauthier, Precise Monte Carlo simulation of single-photon detectors with active quenching (Submitted, September, 2013).
Lectures and Invited Talks:
  • Toward Single-Photon Nonlinear Optics via Self-Assembled Ultracold Atoms, Frontiers in Optics 2010/Division of Laser Science XXVI, Rochester, NY,
  • 'High throughput, high bit-per-photon quantum communication, QIBEC (Quantum Information/BEC) Seminar, NIST, Gaithersburg, MD,
  • 'Using self-assembly to enable single-photon nonlinear optics, EECS Distinguished Seminar Series, Northwestern University,
  • Observation of chaos in small networks of Boolean-like logic circuits, SCCAMM Workshop on Nonlinear Dynamics of Networks, University of Maryland, College Park, MD,
  • Slow light applications of forward stimulated Brillouin scattering, Photonics West, San Francisco, CA,
  • Boolean Chaos, Dynamics Days 2010, Chicago, IL,
  • Boolean Delay Systems, Workshop on Delayed Complex Systems, Max-Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden, Germany,
  • Slow and stopped light in optical waveguides, DTU Fotonik Seminar, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, Bygning, Denmark,
  • Broadband chaos in time-delay photonic and electroic devices: Potential implications for sensor networks, Nonlinear Dynamics Seminar, University of Maryland, College Park, MD,
  • Ultra-low-light-level all-optical switching, Physics Department Colloquium, Ohio University, Athens, OH,
  • Discovery of a new type of bifurcation in paced cardiac muscle, Third Workshop Promotionskolleg, Helmholtz Center for Brain and Mind Dynamics, Liebenwalde, Germany,