Ultracold systems offer an unprecedented level of control of interactions between atoms. An important challenge is to achieve a similar level of control of the interactions between photons. Towards this goal, we propose a realization of a novel Lennard-Jones-like potential between photons coupled to the Rydberg states via electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). This potential is achieved by tuning Rydberg states to a F{รถ}rster resonance with other Rydberg states. We consider few-body problems in 1D and 2D geometries and show the existence of self-bound clusters ("molecules") of photons. We demonstrate that for a few-body problem, the multi-body interactions have a significant impact on the geometry of the molecular ground state. This leads to phenomena without counterparts in conventional systems: For example, three photons in 2D preferentially arrange themselves in a line-configuration rather than in an equilateral-triangle configuration. Our result opens a new avenue for studies of many-body phenomena with strongly interacting photons.

1 aBienias, Przemyslaw1 aGullans, Michael, J.1 aKalinowski, Marcin1 aCraddock, Alexander, N.1 aOrnelas-Huerta, Dalia, P.1 aRolston, Steven, L.1 aPorto, J., V.1 aGorshkov, Alexey, V. uhttps://arxiv.org/abs/2003.0786401697nas a2200205 4500008004100000245010900041210006900150260001300219520100800232100003001240700002801270700003101298700002401329700001601353700001601369700002501385700002301410700002101433856003701454 2020 eng d00aOn-demand indistinguishable single photons from an efficient and pure source based on a Rydberg ensemble0 aOndemand indistinguishable single photons from an efficient and c3/4/20203 aSingle photons coupled to atomic systems have shown to be a promising platform for developing quantum technologies. Yet a bright on-demand, highly pure and highly indistinguishable single-photon source compatible with atomic platforms is lacking. In this work, we demonstrate such a source based on a strongly interacting Rydberg system. The large optical nonlinearities in a blockaded Rydberg ensemble convert coherent light into a single-collective excitation that can be coherently retrieved as a quantum field. We observe a single-transverse-mode efficiency up to 0.18(2), g(2)=2.0(1.5)×10−4, and indistinguishability of 0.982(7), making this system promising for scalable quantum information applications. Accounting for losses, we infer a generation probability up to 0.40(4). Furthermore, we investigate the effects of contaminant Rydberg excitations on the source efficiency. Finally, we introduce metrics to benchmark the performance of on-demand single-photon sources.

1 aOrnelas-Huerta, Dalia, P.1 aCraddock, Alexander, N.1 aGoldschmidt, Elizabeth, A.1 aHachtel, Andrew, J.1 aWang, Yidan1 aBienias, P.1 aGorshkov, Alexey, V.1 aRolston, Steve, L.1 aPorto, James, V. uhttps://arxiv.org/abs/2003.02202