The ability to detect very weak optical fields with high efficiency ([Formula Presented]) and to distinguish the number of photons in a given time interval is a very challenging technical problem with enormous potential payoffs in quantum communications and information processing. We propose to employ an atomic vapor as the active medium, prepared in a specific quantum state using laser radiation. The absorption of a photon will be aided by a dressing laser, and the presence or absence of an excited atom will be detected using the “cycling transition” approach perfected for ion traps. By incorporating an appropriate up-conversion scheme, our method can be applied to a wide variety of optical wavelengths.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical review letters|
|State||Published - 2002|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)