Observing the Dynamics of Dipole-Mediated Energy Transport by Interaction Enhanced Imaging

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Science  07 Nov 2013:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1244843

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Electronically highly excited (Rydberg) atoms experience quantum-state changing interactions similar to Förster processes found in complex molecules, offering a model system to study the nature of dipole-mediated energy transport under the influence of a controlled environment. We demonstrate a nondestructive imaging method to monitor the migration of electronic excitations with high time and spatial resolution using electromagnetically induced transparency on a background gas acting as an amplifier. The many-body dynamics of the energy transport is determined by the continuous spatial projection of the electronic quantum state under observation and features an emergent spatial scale of micrometer size induced by Rydberg-Rydberg interactions.

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