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  Correlating photons using the collective nonlinear response of atoms weakly coupled to an optical mode

Prasad, A. S., Hinney, J., Mahmoodian, S., Hammerer, K., Rind, S., Schneeweiss, P., et al. (2020). Correlating photons using the collective nonlinear response of atoms weakly coupled to an optical mode. Nature Photonics. doi:10.1038/s41566-020-0692-z.

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Prasad, Adarsh S., Author
Hinney, Jakob, Author
Mahmoodian , Sahand1, Author
Hammerer, Klemens1, Author              
Rind, Samuel, Author
Schneeweiss, Philipp, Author
Sørensen, Anders S., Author
Volz, Jürgen, Author
Rauschenbeutel, Arno, Author
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1Laser Interferometry & Gravitational Wave Astronomy, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_24010              

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Free keywords: Quantum Physics, quant-ph
 Abstract: Photons in a nonlinear medium can repel or attract each other, resulting in a strongly correlated quantum many-body system. Typically, such strongly correlated states of light arise from the extreme nonlinearity granted by quantum emitters that are strongly coupled to a photonic mode. However, in these approaches, unavoidable dissipation, like photon loss, blurs nonlinear quantum effects. Here, we generate strongly correlated photon states using only weak coupling and taking advantage of dissipation. We launch light through an ensemble of non-interacting waveguide-coupled atoms, which induce correlations between simultaneously arriving photons through collectively enhanced nonlinear interactions. These correlated photons then experience less dissipation than the uncorrelated ones. Depending on the number of atoms, we experimentally observe strong photon bunching or anti-bunching of the transmitted light. This realization of a collectively enhanced nonlinearity may turn out transformational for quantum information science and opens new avenues for generating nonclassical light, covering frequencies from the microwave to the X-ray regime.

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 Dates: 2019-11-212020
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: 9 pages, 5 figures
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 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: arXiv: 1911.09701
DOI: 10.1038/s41566-020-0692-z
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Title: Nature Photonics
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