An ideal and reversible transfer technique for the quantum state between light and metastable collective states of matter is presented and analyzed in detail. The method is based on the control of photon propagation in coherently driven three-level atomic media, in which the group velocity is adiabatically reduced to zero. Form-stable coupled excitations of light and matter (“dark-state polaritons”) associated with the propagation of quantum fields in electromagnetically induced transparency are identified, their basic properties discussed and their application for quantum memories for light analyzed.
- Received 29 June 2001
- Published 15 January 2002
© 2002 The American Physical Society