Monday, July 15, 2013

1307.3509 (Simon Baur et al.)

Single-Photon Switch based on Rydberg Blockade    [PDF]

Simon Baur, Daniel Tiarks, Gerhard Rempe, Stephan Dürr
All-optical switching is a technique in which a gate light pulse changes the transmission of a target light pulse without the detour via electronic signal processing. We take this to the quantum regime, where the incoming gate light pulse contains only one photon on average. The gate pulse is stored as a Rydberg excitation in an ultracold atomic gas using electromagnetically induced transparency. Rydberg blockade suppresses the transmission of the subsequent target pulse. As a first application, we use the change in the transmission to perform a nondestructive measurement of whether a Rydberg excitation was stored during the gate pulse. The single-photon switch offers many interesting perspectives ranging from quantum communication to quantum information processing.
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