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Engineering Photon-Photon Interactions

January 14, 2016 - 11:00am
Kristin Beck

Deterministic photon-photon interactions are a long-standing goal in quantum optical science. In our experiments, we use an ensemble of atoms inside of a high finesse optical cavity to mediate effective interactions between photons. We show that this interaction can be transistor-like, where one photon blocks hundreds of photons [1], or operate as a (partly) non-destructive detector, detecting photons and preserving them some of the time [2]. In a separate experiment, we show that a single photon imparts a phase shift of pi/3 on a weak coherent state traveling in another mode [3]. These experiments demonstrate increasing control over photons, which, with moderate technical improvements, will enable deterministic photonic quantum logic.

[1] W. Chen, K. M. Beck, R. Bücker, M. Gullans, M. D. Lukin, H. Tanji-Suzuki, V. Vuletić. All-Optical Switch and Transistor Gated by One Stored Photon. Science 341, 768-770 (2013)

[2] M. Hosseini, K. M. Beck, Y. Duan, W. Chen, V. Vuletić. Partially Nondestructive Continuous Detection of Individual Traveling Optical Photons. arXiv:1511.00559 [quant-ph] (to appear in Physical Review Letters)

[3] K. M. Beck, M. Hosseini, Y. Duan, V. Vuletić. Large conditional single-photon cross-phase modulation. arXiv:1512.02166 [quant-ph]

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College Park, MD 20742