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Nonlinear quantum optics with a single Rydberg superatom coupled to a medium-finesse cavity

Abstract : Producing interactions between optical photons is a major concern for the implementation of quantum communication protocols, for photonic quantum computing, as well as for the exploration of interacting photonic fluids. This thesis presents a new experimental platform designed to obtain such interactions via a small atomic ensemble coupled to a cavity. The photons injected through the cavity are transiently converted into Rydberg excitations, characterized by strong van der Waals interactions spanning the whole atomic cloud. This hybridization between photons and atomic excitations, also called polariton, allows us to achieve strong optical nonlinearities at the single-photon level. The first part of this thesis presents the new experimental setup, its construction and the technical choices. The second part then focuses on the characterization of the experiment and the different steps required to achieve strong interactions between photons: the preparation of a small atomic cloud in the cavity, the strong collective coupling with the cavity mode and the hybridization between photons and atomic excitations. The last part covers two experiments conducted with the platform. First, the strong interactions provided by Rydberg excitations are used to realize a nonlinear quantum memory. This mechanism is an efficient way to produce single photons and allows us to truncate a coherent state. The second experiment addresses the control and single-shot detection of a single Rydberg excitation in the cloud. In particular, one Rydberg atom is enough to induce a sign flip of the electromagnetic field reflected by the cavity.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 22, 2022 - 4:00:43 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 24, 2022 - 11:17:01 AM


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  • HAL Id : tel-03701968, version 1


Julien Vaneecloo. Nonlinear quantum optics with a single Rydberg superatom coupled to a medium-finesse cavity. Optics [physics.optics]. Sorbonne Université, 2022. English. ⟨NNT : 2022SORUS089⟩. ⟨tel-03701968⟩



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