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Activity 2

Many-Body Physics with Photons

(MA2) In this Major Activity, we address the fundamental challenges of preparation, control, and measurement of manybody physics in a new system: interacting photons. At present, quantum optics is pushing towards systems with strong interactions at the individual photon level. Indeed, several such systems are just starting to appear in the laboratory. Photon-photon coupling, mediated by an atomic or solid-state medium, is inherently longrange and can be exploited to study novel many-body collective effects and entanglement phenomena. The platforms in this MA feature tunability in both the strength and range of many-body interactions. These features will enable the exploration of the frontiers of collective many-body quantum phenomena in ways that are impossible in traditional, solid statebased systems where the interactions and spin are fixed for a specific material.

We will develop new approaches for designer photonic materials using coupled cavity arrays and photonic crystal techniques, as well as Rydberg-EIT systems.

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  • October 20, 2013

In this week’s issue of Nature Photonics scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute (*) report the first observation of topological effects for light in two dimensions, analogous to the quantum Hall effect for electrons. To accomplish this, they built a structure to guide infrared light over the surface of a room temperature, silicon-on-insulator chip.

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