How to Trap Photons? Storing Single-Photon Quantum States in Collective Atomic Excitations
- Abstract: We show that it is possible to "store" quantum states of single-photon fields by mapping them onto collective meta-stable states of an optically dense, coherently driven medium inside an optical resonator. An adiabatic technique is suggested which allows to transfer non-classical correlations from traveling-wave single-photon wave-packets into atomic states and vise versa with nearly 100% efficiency. In contrast to previous approaches involving single atoms, the present technique does not require the strong coupling regime corresponding to high-Q micro-cavities. Instead, intracavity Electromagnetically Induced Transparency is used to achieve a strong coupling between the cavity mode and the atoms.