The precise control of atom-light interactions is vital to many quantum technologies. For instance, atomic systems can be used to slow and store light, acting as a quantum memory. Optical storage can be achieved via stopped light, where no optical energy continues to exist in the atomic system, or as stationary light, where some optical energy remains present during storage. Here, we demonstrate a form of self-stabilizing stationary light. From any initial state, our atom-light system evolves to a stable configuration that may contain bright optical excitations trapped within the atomic ensemble. This phenomenon is verified experimentally in a cloud of cold Rb 87 atoms. The spinwave in our atomic cloud is imaged from the side, allowing direct comparison with theoretical predictions.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)