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Quantum nonlinear optics with single photons enabled by strongly interacting atoms

Peyronel, Thibault and Firstenberg, Ofer and Liang, Qi-Yu and Hofferberth, Sebastian and Gorshkov, Alexey V. and Pohl, Thomas and Lukin, Mikhail D. and Vuletic, Vladan (2012) Quantum nonlinear optics with single photons enabled by strongly interacting atoms. Nature, 488 (7409). pp. 57-60. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/nature11361.

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The realization of strong nonlinear interactions between individual light quanta (photons) is a long-standing goal in optical science and engineering being of both fundamental and technological significance. In conventional optical materials, the nonlinearity at light powers corresponding to single photons is negligibly weak. Here we demonstrate a medium that is nonlinear at the level of individual quanta, exhibiting strong absorption of photon pairs while remaining transparent to single photons. The quantum nonlinearity is obtained by coherently coupling slowly propagating photons to strongly interacting atomic Rydberg states in a cold, dense atomic gas. Our approach paves the way for quantum-by-quantum control of light fields, including single-photon switching, all-optical deterministic quantum logic and the realization of strongly correlated many-body states of light.

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Lukin, Mikhail D.0000-0002-8658-1007
Additional Information:© 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 28 May 2012. Accepted 28 June 2012. Published online 25 July 2012. We acknowledge technical support from A. Mazurenko. This work was supported in part by NSF, CUA and the AFOSR Quantum Memories MURI. A.V.G. acknowledges funding from the Lee A. DuBridge Foundation and the IQIM, an NSF Physics Frontiers Center with support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Author Contributions: The experiment was designed and built by S.H., T. Peyronel and Q.-Y.L. Measurements and analysis of the data presented were carried out by T. Peyronel, O.F. and Q.-Y.L. The theoretical analysis was performed by A.V.G. and T. Pohl. All experimental and theoretical work was supervised by M.D.L. and V.V. All authors discussed the results and contributed to the manuscript.
Group:Institute for Quantum Information and Matter
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)UNSPECIFIED
Lee A. DuBridge FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Caltech Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM)UNSPECIFIED
NSF Physics Frontiers CenterUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7409
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120817-141332834
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:33306
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:17 Aug 2012 22:48
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 21:33

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