Single-Atom Single-Photon Quantum Interface

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Science  27 Jul 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5837, pp. 488-490
DOI: 10.1126/science.1143835

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A major challenge for a scalable quantum computing architecture is the faithful transfer of information from one node to another. We report on the realization of an atom-photon quantum interface based on an optical cavity, using it to entangle a single atom with a single photon and then to map the quantum state of the atom onto a second single photon. The latter step disentangles the atom from the light and produces an entangled photon pair. Our scheme is intrinsically deterministic and establishes the basic element required to realize a distributed quantum network with individual atoms at rest as quantum memories and single flying photons as quantum messengers.

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