Two-photon gateway in one-atom cavity quantum electrodynamics

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Authors
Kubanek, A.
Ourjoumtsev, A.
Schuster, I.
Koch, M.
Pinkse, P. W. H.
Murr, K.
Rempe, G.
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Abstract
Description
Single atoms absorb and emit light from a resonant laser beam photon by photon. We show that a single atom strongly coupled to an optical cavity can absorb and emit resonant photons in pairs. The effect is observed in a photon correlation experiment on the light transmitted through the cavity. We find that the atom-cavity system transforms a random stream of input photons into a correlated stream of output photons, thereby acting as a two-photon gateway. The phenomenon has its origin in the quantum anharmonicity of the energy structure of the atom-cavity system. Future applications could include the controlled interaction of two photons by means of one atom.
Comment: PRL, 4 figures
Keywords
Quantum Physics, Condensed Matter - Other Condensed Matter
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