Charles Adams - Contactless photon-photon interactions

Prof. Charles Adams, University of Durham, UK


In 2007, it was written that 'no known or foreseen material has an optical nonlinearity strong enough to implement' a large single-photon phase shift [1], and also we started to study a new ‘material’ where photons couple to highly-excited Rydberg excitations that do exhibit strong interactions [2]. Ten years on, this new material based on ultra-cold Rydberg atoms has been used to demonstrate strong photon-photon interactions, large single-photon phase shifts, and single-photon transistors (see recent review [3]).

In this talk, I will review the physics of Rydberg quantum optics and discuss our most recent results including a ‘contactless' photon-photon interaction [4].

[1] J. L. O’Brien, Science 318, 1567 (2007). 
[2] A. Mohapatra, T. R. Jackson and C. S. Adams, Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 113003 (2007). 
[3] O. Firstenberg, C. S. Adams, and S. Hofferberth, Nonlinear quantum optics mediated by Rydberg interactions, J. Phys. B 49, 152003 (2016). 
[4] H. Busche et. al. Nature Phys. (to appear).


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