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Photon blockade in an optical cavity with one trapped atom

Birnbaum, K. M. and Boca, A. and Miller, R. and Boozer, A. D. and Northup, T. E. and Kimble, H. J. (2005) Photon blockade in an optical cavity with one trapped atom. Nature, 436 (7047). pp. 87-90. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/nature03804.

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At low temperatures, sufficiently small metallic and semiconductor devices exhibit the 'Coulomb blockade' effect, in which charge transport through the device occurs on an electron-by-electron basis. For example, a single electron on a metallic island can block the flow of another electron if the charging energy of the island greatly exceeds the thermal energy. The analogous effect of 'photon blockade' has been proposed for the transport of light through an optical system; this involves photon–photon interactions in a nonlinear optical cavity. Here we report observations of photon blockade for the light transmitted by an optical cavity containing one trapped atom, in the regime of strong atom–cavity coupling. Excitation of the atom–cavity system by a first photon blocks the transmission of a second photon, thereby converting an incident poissonian stream of photons into a sub-poissonian, anti-bunched stream. This is confirmed by measurements of the photon statistics of the transmitted field. Our observations of photon blockade represent an advance over traditional nonlinear optics and laser physics, into a regime with dynamical processes involving atoms and photons taken one-by-one.

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Alternate Title:Theory of Photon Blockade by an Optical Cavity with One Trapped Atom
Additional Information:© 2005 Nature Publishing Group. Received 26 March 2005; Accepted 5 May 2005. We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of J. McKeever and C. J. Hood. This research is supported by the National Science Foundation, by the Caltech MURI Center for Quantum Networks, and by the Advanced Research and Development Activity (ARDA).
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Caltech MURI Center for Quantum NetworksUNSPECIFIED
Advanced Research and Development Activity (ARDA)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7047
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150319-084952676
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Official Citation:Birnbaum, K. M., Boca, A., Miller, R., Boozer, A. D., Northup, T. E., & Kimble, H. J. (2005). Photon blockade in an optical cavity with one trapped atom. [10.1038/nature03804]. Nature, 436(7047), 87-90
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:55915
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:24 Mar 2015 19:02
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 20:52

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