This work involves research and education on a set of topics in atomic physics and quantum optics. The main objective of the project is to develop new methods for the generation, storage, and distribution of quantum mechanical entanglement utilizing photons and ultra-cold atoms. The approach employs interactions of ultra-cold atoms excited into Rydberg states for entanglement generation while ground atomic levels are used for information storage. The strength of the atom-light interactions will be increased by placing the atoms between highly polished mirrors of an optical cavity, while confining the atoms to laser-generated optical lattices and cooling them to ultra-low temperatures. The planned activity is expected to result in the development of a new generation of capabilities for the creation, distribution and storage of entangled quantum states and contribute to future implementations of distributed quantum computing. Additionally, efficient production of massively entangled states will advance quantum-enhanced technologies.

This research will continue a program of investigating the generation, storage, and distribution of quantum information, using individual photons and trapped ultra-cold atoms. The entanglement of spin-wave hyperfine qubits to optical qubits encoded in the polarization, spatial or frequency degrees of freedom of single photons, as well as entanglement of two remote spin-wave qubits, and single-photon wavelength conversion between the near-infrared and the telecom has been previously demonstrated. Most recently, quantum memory times have been extended beyond 10 seconds, while strong interactions of atomic Rydberg levels have been employed for the generation of single photons, many-body quantum states, and matter-light entanglement. This opens a path toward functional quantum networking architectures of superior scaling. The following set of goals will be explored: (i) tight, three-dimensional, state-insensitive confinement of ground and Rydberg atoms; (ii) Rydberg quantum gates between qubits encoded in Rubidium isotopic mixtures; (iii) scalable multi-qubit atomic entangled states by sequential generation of entangled qubit pairs and triples, photon interferences and light-memory quantum state mappings; (iv) storage of multi-qubit entangled quantum states with second-scale lifetimes. The planned activity will expedite the development of a new generation of capabilities for the creation, distribution and storage of multi-qubit entangled states and contributes to future implementations of long-distance quantum repeaters and distributed quantum computing. Moreover efficient production of multi-qubit entangled states will impact fundamental physics investigations and advance quantum-enhanced technologies.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Physics (PHY)
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Alexander Cronin
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Regents of the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor
United States
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