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Title: Coulomb bound states of strongly interacting photons

We show that two photons coupled to Rydberg states via electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) can interact via an effective Coulomb potential. The interaction then gives rise to a continuum of two-body bound states. Within the continuum, metastable bound states are distinguished in analogy with quasi-bound states tunneling through a potential barrier. We find multiple branches of metastable bound states whose energy spectrum is governed by the Coulomb problem, thus obtaining a photonic analogue of the hydrogen atom. These states propagate with a negative group velocity in the medium, which allows for a simple preparation and detection scheme, before they slowly decay to pairs of bound Rydberg atoms. As a result, we verify the metastability and backward propagation of these Coulomb bound states with exact numerical simulations.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. NIST/Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States)
  2. Univ. of Stuttgart, Stuttgart (Germany)
  3. Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States)
  4. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  5. Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot (Israel)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 115; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); Materials Sciences and Engineering Division
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS
OSTI Identifier:
1356358
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1356358