Applied Physics

Reversible Atomic Memories

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Science  25 May 2007:
Vol. 316, Issue 5828, pp. 1099
DOI: 10.1126/science.316.5828.1099c

A key requirement for quantum information processing applications such as quantum communication or computation is the ability to reliably store, manipulate, and retrieve a piece of information, encoded, for example, in the polarization state of a single photon. Among the many routes presently being explored to achieve these goals is cavity quantum electrodynamics (c-QED), which entails trapping a single atom in a cavity and inducing it to interact with a single photon. In this vein, Boozer et al. show that they are able to imprint the state of a single photon onto a single trapped Cs atom, store it for an appreciable fraction of the lifetime of the atom in the trap, and then retrieve that information again sometime later in the form of another photon and send it on its way. They verify that the whole process is coherent, providing further support for c-QED-based systems as promising candidates for nodes in a quantum information processing network. — ISO

Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 193601 (2007).

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