Two-photon gateway in one-atom cavity quantum electrodynamics

A. Kubanek*, A. Ourjoumtsev, I. Schuster, M. Koch, P. W.H. Pinkse, K. Murr, G. Rempe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

109 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Single atoms absorb and emit light from a resonant laser beam photon by photon. We show that a single atom strongly coupled to an optical cavity can absorb and emit resonant photons in pairs. The effect is observed in a photon correlation experiment on the light transmitted through the cavity. We find that the atom-cavity system transforms a random stream of input photons into a correlated stream of output photons, thereby acting as a two-photon gateway. The phenomenon has its origin in the quantum anharmonicity of the energy structure of the atom-cavity system. Future applications could include the controlled interaction of two photons by means of one atom.

Original languageEnglish
Article number203602
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume101
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes

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