Ideas from quantum optics play an important role in studying, controlling, and utilizing light-matter interactions in many regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. This raises the question, whether such concepts could also be utilized to improve or develop applications at hard x-ray energies. Prime candidates for this purpose are Mössbauer nuclei, since they offer exceptionally narrow nuclear resonances, and thereby much longer coherence times than typical electronic resonances. In this talk, I will first introduce nuclear quantum optics. Then, I will focus on the shaping of x-ray pulses delivered by accelerator-based x-ray sources, by means of mechanical motions of a resonant target. As a first application, I will show how this can be used to increase the resonant flux, by shifting off-resonant parts of the pulse spectrum onto resonance [1]. Finally, I will show how such shaped pulses can be used to coherently control the dynamics of Mössbauer nuclei [2].

[1] K. P. Heeg et al., Science 357, 375 (2017).
[2] K. P. Heeg et al., Nature 590, 401 (2021).


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