Correlated Photon Dynamics in Dissipative Rydberg Media

TitleCorrelated Photon Dynamics in Dissipative Rydberg Media
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsZeuthen, E, Gullans, M, Maghrebi, MF, Gorshkov, AV
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Date Published2017/07/26

Rydberg blockade physics in optically dense atomic media under the conditions of electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) leads to strong dissipative interactions between single photons. We introduce a new approach to analyzing this challenging many-body problem in the limit of large optical depth per blockade radius. In our approach, we separate the single-polariton EIT physics from Rydberg-Rydberg interactions in a serialized manner while using a hard-sphere model for the latter, thus capturing the dualistic particle-wave nature of light as it manifests itself in dissipative Rydberg-EIT media. Using this approach, we analyze the saturation behavior of the transmission through one-dimensional Rydberg-EIT media in the regime of non-perturbative dissipative interactions relevant to current experiments. Our model is in good agreement with experimental data. We also analyze a scheme for generating regular trains of single photons from continuous-wave input and derive its scaling behavior in the presence of imperfect single-photon EIT.