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Quantum and nonlinear effects in light transmitted through planar atomic arrays

Bettles, Robert J.; Lee, Mark D.; Gardiner, Simon A.; Ruostekoski, Janne

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Robert J. Bettles

Mark D. Lee

Janne Ruostekoski


Understanding strong cooperative optical responses in dense and cold atomic ensembles is vital for fundamental science and emerging quantum technologies. Methodologies for characterizing light-induced quantum effects in such systems, however, are still lacking. Here we unambiguously identify significant quantum many-body effects, robust to position fluctuations and strong dipole–dipole interactions, in light scattered from planar atomic ensembles by comparing full quantum simulations with a semiclassical model neglecting quantum fluctuations. We find pronounced quantum effects at high atomic densities, light close to saturation intensity, and around subradiant resonances. Such conditions also maximize spin–spin correlations and entanglement between atoms, revealing the microscopic origin of light-induced quantum effects. In several regimes of interest, our approximate model reproduces light transmission remarkably well, permitting analysis of otherwise numerically inaccessible large ensembles, in which we observe many-body analogues of resonance power broadening, vacuum Rabi splitting, and significant suppression in cooperative reflection from atomic arrays.


Bettles, R. J., Lee, M. D., Gardiner, S. A., & Ruostekoski, J. (2020). Quantum and nonlinear effects in light transmitted through planar atomic arrays. Communications Physics, 3(1), Article 141.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 15, 2020
Online Publication Date Aug 14, 2020
Publication Date 2020
Deposit Date Aug 26, 2020
Publicly Available Date Aug 26, 2020
Journal Communications Physics.
Electronic ISSN 2399-3650
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 1
Article Number 141


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