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Interfacing interacting Rydberg polaritons: From few- to many-body interactions

Project description

From a few to many exotic quasiparticles on the way to networks and computing

Rydberg atoms have a single outer valence electron that can be excited to higher quantum states. In practice, this means that the electron can move very far from the nucleus, increasing the atomic radius a billion times and facilitating extraordinary interactions with neighbouring atoms while remaining bound to its own nucleus. These Rydberg atoms can also interact with single photons to create strongly interacting Rydberg polaritons. Controlling these interactions opens the door to innovative quantum optical devices, and the EU-funded InterPol project is upping the ante. Moving from the experimental study of a few polaritons to many, the team is pushing the field ever closer to polariton-based quantum computing devices.


Rydberg quantum optics (RQO) is a very promising approach to achieve effective interactions at the level of individual photons. It maps the strong interactions between ultracold Rydberg atoms onto light fields to create strongly interacting Rydberg polaritons. RQO enables single photon generation, exotic photon bound states, and effective interactions between spatially separated photons. Based on RQO, various quantum optical devices can be implemented, e.g. a deterministic gate for optical quantum information processing. Experiments to date have mostly used 1D interaction geometries and not yet investigated interactions between more than 2 or 3 polaritons or in a quantum network of interaction nodes. InterPol will implement controlled interactions between multiple Rydberg polaritons based on two complementary approaches. One will cascade multiple devices such as single-photon transistors and subtractors to implement multi-polariton logic circuits and demonstrate a network that coherently interfaces entangled Rydberg excitations with photons for quantum state transfer. The second will use adaptive optics to realize a novel, highly flexible platform to study simultaneous interactions between multiple polaritons in arbitrary spatial geometries to study the transition regime from few- to many-body interactions. This has fundamental impact beyond quantum optics as it will allow highly controlled experimental tests of many-body interactions and non-perturbative effects in quantum field theories with quasi-particles in a tabletop setting. Collaborating with leading theorists to experimentally benchmark field-theoretical descriptions, the applicant will further deepen his theoretical understanding of RQO to complement his excellent experimental skills. In charge of a comprehensive research action, he will enhance his independence and possess the skill set required to develop and conduct innovative quantum optics experiments as an independent researcher at its end.



Net EU contribution
€ 207 312,00
Campusvej 55
5230 Odense m

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Danmark Syddanmark Fyn
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00