Observation of threephoton bound states in a quantum nonlinear medium
Abstract
Bound states of massive particles, such as nuclei, atoms, or molecules, constitute the bulk of the visible world around us. By contrast, photons typically only interact weakly. We report the observation of traveling threephoton bound states in a quantum nonlinear medium where the interactions between photons are mediated by atomic Rydberg states. Photon correlation and conditional phase measurements reveal the distinct bunching and phase features associated with threephoton and twophoton bound states. Such photonic trimers and dimers possess shapepreserving wave functions that depend on the constituent photon number. The observed bunching and strongly nonlinear optical phase are described by an effective field theory of Rydberginduced photonphoton interactions. These observations demonstrate the ability to realize and control strongly interacting quantum manybody states of light.
 Publication:

Science
 Pub Date:
 February 2018
 DOI:
 10.1126/science.aao7293
 arXiv:
 arXiv:1709.01478
 Bibcode:
 2018Sci...359..783L
 Keywords:

 PHYSICS;
 Physics  Atomic Physics;
 Quantum Physics
 EPrint:
 Science 359, 783 (2018)