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Radiation trapping in a dense cold Rydberg gas

Sadler, D.P.; Bridge, E.M.; Boddy, D.; Bounds, A.D.; Keegan, N.C.; Lochead, G.; Jones, M.P.A.; Olmos, Beatriz


D.P. Sadler

E.M. Bridge

D. Boddy

A.D. Bounds

N.C. Keegan

G. Lochead

M.P.A. Jones


Cold atomic gases resonantly excited to Rydberg states can exhibit strong optical nonlinearity at the single photon level. We observe that in such samples radiation trapping leads to an additional mechanism for Rydberg excitation. Conversely we demonstrate that Rydberg excitation provides a novel in situ probe of the spectral, statistical, temporal and spatial properties of the trapped re-scattered light. We also show that absorption can lead to an excitation saturation that mimics the Rydberg blockade effect. Collective effects due to multiple scattering may co-exist with cooperative effects due to long-range interactions between the Rydberg atoms, adding a new dimension to quantum optics experiments with cold Rydberg gases.


Sadler, D., Bridge, E., Boddy, D., Bounds, A., Keegan, N., Lochead, G., …Olmos, B. (2017). Radiation trapping in a dense cold Rydberg gas. Physical Review A, 95(1), Article 013839.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 6, 2016
Publication Date Jan 24, 2017
Deposit Date Mar 7, 2017
Publicly Available Date Mar 7, 2017
Journal Physical Review A
Print ISSN 2469-9926
Electronic ISSN 2469-9934
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 95
Issue 1
Article Number 013839
Public URL
Publisher URL


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