Cooperative atom-light interaction in a blockaded Rydberg ensemble

J. D. Pritchard, D. Maxwell, A. Gauguet, K. J. Weatherill, M. P. A. Jones, C. S. Adams

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By coupling a probe transition to a Rydberg state using electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) we map the strong dipole-dipole interactions onto an optical field. We characterize the resulting cooperative optical nonlinearity as a function of probe strength and density. We demonstrate good quantitative agreement between the experiment and an N-atom cooperative model for N=3 atoms per blockade sphere and the n=60 Rydberg state. The measured linewidth of the EIT resonance places an upper limit on the dephasing rate of the blockade spheres of <110kHz.
Original languageEnglish
Article number193603
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2010


  • atom-light interaction
  • Rydberg state
  • electromagnetically induced transparency

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