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Super-radiance reveals infinite-range dipole interactions through a nanofiber

TitleSuper-radiance reveals infinite-range dipole interactions through a nanofiber
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsP. Solano, P. Barberis-Blostein, F. K. Fatemi, L. A. Orozco, and S. L. Rolston
JournalNature Communications

Atoms interact with each other through the electromagnetic field, creating collective states that can radiate faster or slower than a single atom, i.e., super- and sub-radiance. When the field is confined to one dimension it enables infinite-range atom–atom interactions. Here we present the first report of infinite-range interactions between macroscopically separated atomic dipoles mediated by an optical waveguide. We use cold 87Rb atoms in the vicinity of a single-mode optical nanofiber (ONF) that coherently exchange evanescently coupled photons through the ONF mode. In particular, we observe super-radiance of a few atoms separated by hundreds of resonant wavelengths. The same platform allows us to measure sub-radiance, a rarely observed effect, presenting a unique tool for quantum optics. This result constitutes a proof of principle for collective behavior of macroscopically delocalized atomic states, a crucial element for new proposals in quantum information and many-body physics.