Abstract: Local field effects on the rate of spontaneous emission and Lamb shift in a dense gas of atoms are discussed taking into account correlations of atomic center-of-mass coordinates. For this the exact retarded propagator in the medium is calculated in independent scattering approximation and employing a virtual-cavity model. The resulting changes of the atomic polarizability lead to modi cations of the medium response which can be of the same order of magnitude but of opposite sign than those due to local field corrections of the dielectric function derived by Morice, Castin, and Dalibard [Phys.Rev.A 51, 3896 (1995)].
Abstract: We identify form-stable coupled excitations of light and matter ("dark-state polaritons") associated with the propagation of quantum fields in Electromagnetically Induced Transparency. The properties of the dark-state polaritons such as the group velocity are determined by the mixing angle between light and matter components and can be controlled by an external coherent field as the pulse propagates. In particular, light pulses can be decelerated and "trapped" in which case their shape and quantum state are mapped onto metastable collective states of matter. Possible applications of this reversible coherent-control technique are discussed.
Abstract: We analyze systematic (classical) and fundamental (quantum) limitations of the sensitivity of optical magnetometers resulting from ac-Stark shifts. We show that incontrast to absorption-based techniques, the signal reduction associated with classical broadening can be compensated in magnetometers based on phase measurements using electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). However due to ac-Stark associated quantum noise the signal-to-noise ratio of EIT-based magnetometers attains a maximum value at a certain laser intensity. This value is independent on the quantum statistics of the light and defines a standard quantum limit of sensitivity. We demonstrate that an EIT-based optical magnetometer in Faraday configuration is the best candidate to achieve the highest sensitivity of magnetic field detection and give a detailed analysis of such a device.
Abstract: We analyze the above-threshold behavior of a mirrorless parametric oscillator based on resonantly enhanced four wave mixing in a coherently driven dense atomic vapor. It is shown that, in the ideal limit, an arbitrary small flux of pump photons is sufficient to reach the oscillator threshold. We demonstrate that due to the large group velocity delays associated with coherent media, an extremely narrow oscillator linewidth is possible, making a narrow-band source of non-classical radiation feasible.
Abstract: We describe a technique for manipulating quantum information stored in collective states of mesoscopic ensembles. Quantum processing is accomplished by optical excitation into states with strong dipole-dipole interactions. The resulting "dipole blockade" can be used to inhibit transitions into all but singly excited collective states. This can be employed for a controlled generation of collective atomic spin states as well as non-classical photonic states and for scalable quantum logic gates. An example involving a cold Rydberg gas is analyzed.
Abstract: The recently proposed idea to generate entanglement between photon states via exchange interactions in an ensemble of atoms (J. D. Franson and T. B. Pitman, Phys. Rev. A 60 , 917 (1999) and J. D. Franson et al., (quant- ph/9912121)) is discussed using an S -matix approach. It is shown that if the nonlinear response of the atoms is negligible and no additional atom-atom interactions are present, exchange interactions cannot produce entanglement between photons states in a process that returns the atoms to their initial state. Entanglement generation requires the presence of a nonlinear atomic response or atom-atom interactions.