Ten years ago, Professor Arno Rauschenbeutel was the first to couple laser-trapped atoms with light in glass fibers that are 100 times thinner than a human hair. This achievement was a door opener for the field on quantum nanophotonics. There, one studies the interaction of atoms, molecules, or artificial atoms with photons in integrated optical circuits. Ultimately, this research aims at realizing quantum-enabled components for next-generation communication and information technologies. Using such nanophotonic atom-light interfaces, Prof. Rauschenbeutel has conducted a series of groundbreaking studies. Most notably, he demonstrated that the interaction of atoms and other emitters with light is fundamentally altered when the light is confined on the nanometer scale. This result contributed to the initiation of the new research area of “Chiral Quantum Optics”, which was prominently featured in an invited review article in Nature . It also allowed Prof. Rauschenbeutel to implement key components for photonic quantum technologies, such as atom-controlled microscopic one-way streets , roundabouts , and turnstiles for photons, and it lends itself to the realization of single-photon sources. Prof. Rauschenbeutel’s work is characterized by its clarity and elegance. Moreover, he is a talented science communicator, who rouses curiosity and enthusiasm for his research among experts and the general public alike.

Tags: Quantum Technologies

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