Photon Subtraction by Many-Body Decoherence

TitlePhoton Subtraction by Many-Body Decoherence
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsMurray, CR, Mirgorodskiy, I, Tresp, C, Braun, C, Paris-Mandoki, A, Gorshkov, AV, Hofferberth, S, Pohl, T
Date Published2018/03/13

We present an experimental and theoretical investigation of the scattering-induced decoherence of multiple photons stored in a strongly interacting atomic ensemble. We derive an exact solution to this many-body problem, allowing for a rigorous understanding of the underlying dissipative quantum dynamics. Combined with our experiments, this analysis demonstrates a correlated coherence-protection process, in which the induced decoherence of one photon can preserve the spatial coherence of all others. We discuss how this effect can be used to manipulate light at the quantum level, providing a robust mechanism for single-photon subtraction, and experimentally demonstrate this capability.