We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Cooperative Optical Non-linearity in a blockaded Rydberg Ensemble

PRITCHARD, JONATHAN,DAVID (2011) Cooperative Optical Non-linearity in a blockaded Rydberg Ensemble. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF - Accepted Version


This thesis describes the observation of a novel optical non-linearity mediated by the dipole-dipole interactions in a cold gas of Rydberg atoms. Electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) is used to map the strong dipolar interactions onto an optical transition, resulting in a cooperative effect where the optical response of a single atom is modified by the surrounding atoms due to dipole blockade. This optical non-linearity is characterised as a function of probe power and density for both attractive and repulsive interactions, demonstrating a non-linear density dependence associated with cooperativity. For the case of repulsive interactions, excellent agreement is obtained at low densities between experimental data and an interacting three-atom model. The ability to tune the interactions with an external field is also verified.

This cooperative effect can be used to manipulate light at the single photon level, which is relevant for applications in quantum information processing. A theoretical model is developed to show that the non-linearity can be used to obtain a highly correlated single-photon output from a coherent laser field interacting with a single blockade region. Progress towards observing this experimentally is described, including details of the construction of a new apparatus capable of confining atoms to within a blockade radius.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Rydberg atoms, non-linear optics, quantum optics, cooperative phenomena
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Physics, Department of
Thesis Date:2011
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Jun 2011 10:06

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter