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Caption: Simultaneous trapping of two optical pulses via stationary light pulse (SLP) trapping process.
[Prof. Yoon-Ho Kim] Simultaneous Trapping of Two Optical Pulses in an Atomic Ensemble as Stationary Light Pulses
The stationary light pulse (SLP) refers to a zero-group-velocity optical pulse in an atomic ensemble prepared by two counterpropagating driving fields. Despite the uniqueness of an optical pulse trapped within an atomic medium without a cavity, observations of SLP so far have been limited to trapping a single optical pulse due to the stringent SLP phase-matching condition, and this has severely hindered the development of SLP-based applications. In this Letter, we first show theoretically that the SLP process in fact supports two phase-matching conditions and we then utilize the result to experimentally demonstrate simultaneous SLP trapping of two optical pulses for the duration from 0.8 to 2.0 μs. The characteristic dissipation time, obtained by the release efficiency measurement from the SLP trapping state, is 1.22 μs, which corresponds to an effective Q factor of 2.9 × 109. Our Letter is expected to bring forth interesting SLP-based applications, such as, efficient photon-photon interaction, spatially multimode coherent quantum memory, creation of exotic photonic gas states, etc.