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Radiation trapping in a dense cold Rydberg gas.

Sadler, D.P. and Bridge, E.M. and Boddy, D. and Bounds, A.D. and Keegan, N.C. and Lochead, G. and Jones, M.P.A. and Olmos, B. (2017) 'Radiation trapping in a dense cold Rydberg gas.', Physical review A., 95 (1). 013839.


Cold atomic gases resonantly excited to Rydberg states can exhibit strong optical nonlinearity at the single-photon level. We observe that in such samples radiation trapping leads to an additional mechanism for Rydberg excitation. Conversely we demonstrate that Rydberg excitation provides an in situ probe of the spectral, statistical, temporal, and spatial properties of the trapped rescattered light. We also show that absorption can lead to an excitation saturation that mimics the Rydberg blockade effect. Collective effects due to multiple scattering may coexist with cooperative effects due to long-range interactions between the Rydberg atoms, adding a new dimension to quantum optics experiments with cold Rydberg gases.

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Publisher statement:Reprinted with permission from the American Physical Society: Physical Review A 95, 013839 © (2017) by the American Physical Society. Readers may view, browse, and/or download material for temporary copying purposes only, provided these uses are for noncommercial personal purposes. Except as provided by law, this material may not be further reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, adapted, performed, displayed, published, or sold in whole or part, without prior written permission from the American Physical Society.
Date accepted:16 December 2016
Date deposited:16 February 2017
Date of first online publication:24 January 2017
Date first made open access:16 February 2017

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