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Apr 29, 2021

Efficient Quantum-Mechanical Interface Leads to a Strong Interaction Between Light and Matter

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics, quantum physics

Circa 2020 o.o!


Researchers have succeeded in creating an efficient quantum-mechanical light-matter interface using a microscopic cavity. Within this cavity, a single photon is emitted and absorbed up to 10 times by an artificial atom. This opens up new prospects for quantum technology, report physicists at the University of Basel and Ruhr-University Bochum in the journal Nature.

Quantum physics describes photons as light particles. Achieving an interaction between a single photon and a single atom is a huge challenge due to the tiny size of the atom. However, sending the photon past the atom several times by means of mirrors significantly increases the probability of an interaction.

In order to generate photons, the researchers use artificial atoms, known as quantum dots. These semiconductor structures consist of an accumulation of tens of thousands of atoms, but behave much like a single atom: when they are optically excited, their energy state changes and they emit a photon. “However, they have the technological advantage that they can be embedded in a semiconductor chip,” says Dr. Daniel Najer, who conducted the experiment at the Department of Physics at the University of Basel.

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