Making atoms see the light (or not) - Electromagnetically-induced transparency for structured light

General interest seminar

Making atoms see the light (or not) - Electromagnetically-induced transparency for structured light

  • Event time: 5:00pm
  • Event date: 19th March 2015
  • Location: Lecture Theatre A,

Event details

Abstract

Images provide excellent data capacity, with potential benefits for classical communication, quantum information and dense encoding. In addition to the conventional degrees of freedom (intensity and frequency) the full vectorial complex light fields allows us to utilise also a spatially varying phase and polarisation profile.

I will briefly review holographic methods to generate and detect structured light, and then address the question of how does structured light interact with atoms? Cold atoms are usually only sensitive to the intensity profile of resonant light – the atoms produce a “shadow” in the light beam. By encoding light with correlated phase and polarisation structures we have managed to modulate the opacity of our cold rubidium atoms, dictated by the local phase profile, generating spatially varying EIT (electromagnetically induced transparency).

I will report on our measurements and present an outlook of anticipated further developments in the interaction of structured light with atoms.

Tea and cake from 16.30.

Our General Interest Seminars are an opportunity for distinguished speakers to present new research in physics and related areas. The material presented is suitable for undergraduate level upwards and all members of the School are welcome to attend..

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