Ultrastrong light-matter interaction in a photonic crystal

TitleUltrastrong light-matter interaction in a photonic crystal
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsVrajitoarea, A, Belyansky, R, Lundgren, R, Whitsitt, S, Gorshkov, AV, Houck, AA
Date Published9/29/2022
KeywordsFOS: Physical sciences, Quantum Gases (cond-mat.quant-gas), Quantum Physics (quant-ph)

Harnessing the interaction between light and matter at the quantum level has been a central theme in the fields of atomic physics and quantum optics, with applications from quantum computation to quantum metrology. Combining complex interactions with photonic synthetic materials provides an opportunity to investigate novel quantum phases and phenomena, establishing interesting connections to condensed matter physics. Here we explore many-body phenomena with a single artificial atom coupled to the many discrete modes of a photonic crystal. This experiment reaches the ultrastrong light-matter coupling regime using the circuit QED paradigm, by galvanically coupling a highly nonlinear fluxonium qubit to a tight-binding lattice of microwave resonators. In this regime, the transport of a single photon is strongly modified by the presence of multi-photon bound states, owing to interactions that break particle number conservation. Exploiting the effective photon-photon interactions mediated by the qubit, the driven system can be configured as a continuous reservoir of strongly-correlated photons, a resource of interest for quantum networks. This work opens exciting prospects for exploring nonlinear quantum optics at the single-photon level and stabilizing entangled many-body phases of light.