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The application of silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) technology for weak-light detection at a single photon level has expanded thanks to its better photon detection efficiency in comparison to a conventional photomultiplier tube (PMT). SiPMs with large detection area have recently become commercially available, enabling applications where the photon flux is low both temporarily and spatially. On the other hand, several drawbacks exist in the usage of SiPMs such as a higher dark count rate, many readout channels, slow response time, and optical crosstalk; therefore, users need to carefully consider the trade-offs. This work presents a SiPM-embedded compact large-area photon detection module. Various techniques are adopted to overcome the disadvantages of SiPMs so that it can be generally utilized as an upgrade from a PMT. A simple cooling component and recently developed optical crosstalk suppression method are adopted to reduce the noise which is more serious for larger-area SiPMs. A dedicated readout circuit increases the response frequency and reduces the number of readout channels. We favorably compare this design with a conventional PMT and obtain both higher photon detection efficiency and larger-area acceptance.
STIRAP (stimulated Raman adiabatic passage) is a powerful laser-based method, usually involving two photons, for efficient and selective transfer of populations between quantum states. A particularly interesting feature is the fact that the coupling between the initial and the final quantum states is via an intermediate state, even though the lifetime of the latter can be much shorter than the interaction time with the laser radiation. Nevertheless, spontaneous emission from the intermediate state is prevented by quantum interference. Maintaining the coherence between the initial and final state throughout the transfer process is crucial. STIRAP was initially developed with applications in chemical dynamics in mind. That is why the original paper of 1990 was published in
The Journal of Chemical Physics. However, from about the year 2000, the unique capabilities of STIRAP and its robustness with respect to small variations in some experimental parameters stimulated many researchers to apply the scheme to a variety of other fields of physics. The successes of these efforts are documented in this collection of articles. In Part A the experimental success of STIRAP in manipulating or controlling molecules, photons, ions or even quantum systems in a solid-state environment is documented. After a brief introduction to the basic physics of STIRAP, the central role of the method in the formation of ultracold molecules is discussed, followed by a presentation of how precision experiments (measurement of the upper limit of the electric dipole moment of the electron or detecting the consequences of parity violation in chiral molecules) or chemical dynamics studies at ultralow temperatures benefit from STIRAP. Next comes the STIRAP-based control of photons in cavities followed by a group of three contributions which highlight the potential of the STIRAP concept in classical physics by presenting data on the transfer of waves (photonic, magnonic and phononic) between respective waveguides. The works on ions or ion strings discuss options for applications, e.g. in quantum information. Finally, the success of STIRAP in the controlled manipulation of quantum states in solid-state systems, which are usually hostile towards coherent processes, is presented, dealing with data storage in rare-earth ion doped crystals and in nitrogen vacancy (NV) centers or even in superconducting quantum circuits. The works on ions and those involving solid-state systems emphasize the relevance of the results for quantum information protocols. Part B deals with theoretical work, including further concepts relevant to quantum information or invoking STIRAP for the manipulation of matter waves. The subsequent articles discuss the experiments underway to demonstrate the potential of STIRAP for populating otherwise inaccessible high-lying Rydberg states of molecules, or controlling and cooling the translational motion of particles in a molecular beam or the polarization of angular-momentum states. The series of articles concludes with a more speculative application of STIRAP in nuclear physics, which, if suitable radiation fields become available, could lead to spectacular results.