Lightsabers in the Making: Quantum Nonlinear Optics at the Single-Photon Level
REFRESHMENTS AT 3:00 PM IN REGENTS HALL 109
We theoretically describe and experimentally study the propagation of quantized light under the conditions of electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) in systems involving Rydberg states. In these systems, EIT enables the mapping of strong interactions between Rydberg atoms onto strong interactions between photons. Specifically, we demonstrate a medium exhibiting strong absorption of photon pairs while remaining transparent to single photons. We also demonstrate a medium, in which photons acquire mass, experience attraction, form photon-photon bound states, and imprint a nonlinear phase onto each other. Our approach paves the way for the generation of a variety of nonclassical states of light (possibly including lightsabers ), the implementation of photon-photon quantum gates, and the study of many-body phenomena with strongly correlated photons.
 CNN article from Sept 27: Scientists create light-matter like Darth Vader’s lightsaber