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Project 22: Rydberg polariton dynamics in quasi one dimensional geometries

Summary

Novel Rydberg atom interfaces and Rydberg quantum optics are two of the focus areas of the “Giant Interactions in Rydberg Systems” (GiRyd) priority program.  This project establishes a new highly efficient atom-light interface based on hollow-core optical fibers and exploits its unique properties to study the propagation and evolution of strong light-atom correlations in a one-dimensional system.

The first part of the project is focused around the controlled loading of a laser cooled atomic sample into a suitable hollow-core fiber and the generation of Rydberg polaritons by electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). Here, we will pay special attention to controlling the spatio-temporal evolution of the atomic system when loading them into the fiber using an optical conveyor belt. The goal is to achieve a high-density atomic sample inside the fiber, which fulfils ODB ≥ 1. With the excitation and detection of Rydberg atoms inside the fiber, we will map out the influence of the fiber on the coherence and lifetime of Rydberg excitations and characterize the Rydberg atom – surface interactions.

The second part of the project is dedicated to the investigation of the propagation and scattering dynamics of the Rydberg polaritons inside the fiber. This should shed light onto fundamental issues connected to the propagation of entanglement and quantum information in strongly coupled light atom systems and allow for the generation of exotic non-classical photonic states. By tuning the number of interacting polaritons, i.e. the number of photons in the non-classical light states, we in addition plan to investigate the transition from single particle to continuous variable quantum information and link the two limiting cases. These investigations will, amongst others, build the basis for exploiting interacting photons as a platform for quantum simulation.

Fig. 1: Experimental setup.

Fig. 2: Rydberg schematic.


People

Prof. Dr. Patrick Windpassinger, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz