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Anderson Localization of Light by Cold Atoms

Anderson Localization of Light by Cold Atoms

Objective

I propose to use large clouds of cold Ytterbium atoms to observe Anderson localization of light in three dimensions, which has challenged theoreticians and experimentalists for many decades.
After the prediction by Anderson of a disorder-induced conductor to insulator transition for electrons, light has been proposed as ideal non interacting waves to explore coherent transport properties in the absence of interactions. The development in experiments and theory over the past several years have shown a route towards the experimental realization of this phase transition.
Previous studies on Anderson localization of light using semiconductor powders or dielectric particles have shown that intrinsic material properties, such as absorption or inelastic scattering of light, need to be taken into account in the interpretation of experimental signatures of Anderson localization. Laser-cooled clouds of atoms avoid the problems of samples used so far to study Anderson localization of light. Ab initio theoretical models, available for cold Ytterbium atoms, have shown that the mere high spatial density of the scattering sample is not sufficient to allow for Anderson localization of photons in three dimensions, but that an additional magnetic field or additional disorder on the level shifts can induce a phase transition in three dimensions.
The role of disorder in atom-light interactions has important consequences for the next generation of high precision atomic clocks and quantum memories. By connecting the mesoscopic physics approach to quantum optics and cooperative scattering, this project will allow better control of cold atoms as building blocks of future quantum technologies. Time-resolved transport experiments will connect super- and subradiant assisted transmission with the extended and localized eigenstates of the system.
Having pioneered studies on weak localization and cooperative scattering enables me to diagnostic strong localization of light by cold atoms.
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Host institution

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

Address

Rue Michel Ange 3
75794 Paris

France

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 2 490 717

Beneficiaries (1)

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CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

France

EU Contribution

€ 2 490 717

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 832219

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 October 2019

  • End date

    30 September 2024

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 490 717

  • EU contribution

    € 2 490 717

Hosted by:

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

France