We study the dissipative propagation of quantized light in interacting Rydberg media under the conditions of electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). Rydberg blockade physics in optically dense atomic media leads to strong dissipative interactions between single photons. The regime of high incoming photon flux constitutes a challenging many-body dissipative problem. We experimentally study in detail for the first time the pulse shapes and the second-order correlation function of the outgoing field and compare our data with simulations based on two novel theoretical approaches well-suited to treat this many-photon limit. At low incoming flux, we report good agreement between both theories and the experiment. For higher input flux, the intensity of the outgoing light is lower than that obtained from theoretical predictions. We explain this discrepancy using a simple phenomenological model taking into account pollutants, which are nearly-stationary Rydberg excitations coming from the reabsorption of scattered probe photons. At high incoming photon rates, the blockade physics results in unconventional shapes of measured correlation functions.

1 aBienias, Przemyslaw1 aDouglas, James1 aParis-Mandoki, Asaf1 aTitum, Paraj1 aMirgorodskiy, Ivan1 aTresp, Christoph1 aZeuthen, Emil1 aGullans, Michael, J.1 aManzoni, Marco1 aHofferberth, Sebastian1 aChang, Darrick1 aGorshkov, Alexey, V. uhttps://arxiv.org/abs/1807.0758601444nas a2200169 4500008004100000245006100041210006000102260001500162300001100177490000700188520092700195100002201122700001801144700001901162700002501181856006801206 2016 eng d00aSelf-organization of atoms coupled to a chiral reservoir0 aSelforganization of atoms coupled to a chiral reservoir c2016/11/29 a0538550 v943 aTightly confined modes of light, as in optical nanofibers or photonic crystal waveguides, can lead to large optical coupling in atomic systems, which mediates long-range interactions between atoms. These one-dimensional systems can naturally possess couplings that are asymmetric between modes propagating in different directions. Strong long-range interaction among atoms via these modes can drive them to a self-organized periodic distribution. In this paper, we examine the self-organizing behavior of atoms in one dimension coupled to a chiral reservoir. We determine the solution to the equations of motion in different parameter regimes, relative to both the detuning of the pump laser that initializes the atomic dipole-dipole interactions and the degree of reservoir chirality. In addition, we calculate possible experimental signatures such as reflectivity from self-organized atoms and motional sidebands.

1 aEldredge, Zachary1 aSolano, Pablo1 aChang, Darrick1 aGorshkov, Alexey, V. uhttp://journals.aps.org/pra/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevA.94.053855