"The goal is to store and release single photons on demand by simultaneously ensuring the stability of data," said Andrea Alù, founding director of the ASRC Photonics Initiative and Einstein Professor of Physics at The Graduate Center. "Our work demonstrates that is possible to confine and preserve a single photon in an open cavity and have it remain there until it's prompted by another photon to continue propagating."
The research team used quantum electrodynamics techniques to develop their theory. They investigate a system composed of an atom and a cavity -- the latter of which is partially open and therefore would normally allow light trapped in the system to leak out and be quickly lost. The research team showed, however, that under certain conditions destructive interference phenomena can prevent leakage and allow a single photon to be hosted in the system indefinitely. This embedded eigenstate could be very helpful for storing information without degradation, but the closed nature of this protected state also creates a barrier to exterior stimuli, so that single photons also cannot be injected into the system. The research team was able to overcome this...
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