First observation of the quantized exciton-polariton field and effect of interactions on a single polariton

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  20 Apr 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 4, eaao6814
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao6814

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text


Polaritons are quasi-particles that originate from the coupling of light with matter and that demonstrate quantum phenomena at the many-particle mesoscopic level, such as Bose-Einstein condensation and superfluidity. A highly sought and long-time missing feature of polaritons is a genuine quantum manifestation of their dynamics at the single-particle level. Although they are conceptually perceived as entangled states and theoretical proposals abound for an explicit manifestation of their single-particle properties, so far their behavior has remained fully accounted for by classical and mean-field theories. We report the first experimental demonstration of a genuinely quantum state of the microcavity polariton field, by swapping a photon for a polariton in a two-photon entangled state generated by parametric downconversion. When bringing this single-polariton quantum state in contact with a polariton condensate, we observe a disentangling with the external photon. This manifestation of a polariton quantum state involving a single quantum unlocks new possibilities for quantum information processing with interacting bosons.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text