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Coherent single-atom superradiance

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Science  21 Dec 2017:
eaar2179
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar2179

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Abstract

Superradiance is a quantum phenomenon emerging in macroscopic systems whereby correlated single atoms cooperatively emit photons. Demonstration of controlled collective atom-field interactions has resulted from the ability to directly imprint correlations with an atomic ensemble. Here, we report cavity-mediated coherent single-atom superradiance: single atoms with predefined correlation traverse a high-Q cavity one by one, emitting photons cooperatively with the N atoms already gone through the cavity. Enhanced collective photoemission of N-squared dependence was observed even when the intracavity atom number was less than unity. The correlation among single atoms was achieved by nanometer-precision position control and phase-aligned state manipulation of atoms by using a nanohole-array aperture. Our results demonstrate a platform for phase-controlled atom-field interactions.

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