Cavity Rydberg Polaritons

Cavity Rydberg Polaritons

Cavity Rydberg Polaritons

Photons move quickly and don't interact with one another. Atoms interact but move very slowly. Our cavity platform allows us to marry these disparate toolsets to explore strongly interacting photons for quantum information processing and the science of synthetic materials. We employ highly excited ("Rydberg") atoms within an optical resonator to mediate photon-photon interactions, creating quasi-particles called "Cavity Rydberg Polaritons" whose mass, trapping, and cyclotron orbits may be controlled via resonator geometry, and whose interactions are tuned through the strength of a 480nm laser field which excites the atoms up to the Rydberg (n~100) state.


  • The central focus of this unique effort is to explore photons in near-degenerate multimode cavities as massive, harmonically trapped particles living in a synthetic magnetic field.
  • To allow these bizarre, charged photons to collide with one another, we couple them to an ensemble of Rydberg-dressed cold atoms, which interact strongly due to their tremendous size (a few micron radius in n=100!)
  • We are now working hard to use this platform to explore fractional quantum hall physics of photons in curved space, and also as a tool to make photonic quantum information processors. The possibilities are endless!

Jia Ningyuan, Nathan Schine, Alexandros Georgakopoulos, Albert Ryou, Ariel Sommer, Jonathan Simon, "Photons and polaritons in a time-reversal-broken non-planar resonator" arXiv:1709.00021

Ningyuan Jia, Nathan Schine, Alexandros Georgakopoulos, Albert Ryou, Ariel Sommer, Jonathan Simon, "A Strongly Interacting Polaritonic Quantum Dot" arXiv:1705.07475

Albert Ryou, Jonathan Simon, "Active Cancellation of Acoustical Resonances with an FPGA FIR Filter" Review of Scientific Instruments Volume 88, 1 2017

Nathan Schine, Albert Ryou, Andrey Gromov, Ariel Sommer, Jonathan Simon, "Synthetic Landau levels for photons" Nature 534, 671-5 2016

Ariel Sommer, Jonathan Simon, "Engineering photonic Floquet Hamiltonians through Fabry-Perot resonators" New Journal of Physics 3, 035008 2016