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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Aug 27;93(9):093002. Epub 2004 Aug 25.

Inducing disallowed two-atom transitions with temporally entangled photons.

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  • 1Institute for Quantum Studies and Department of Physics, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, USA.


Two uncoupled two-level atoms cannot be jointly excited by classical light under general circumstances, due to destructive interference of excitation pathways in two-photon absorption. However, with temporally entangled light, two-atom excitation is shown possible. Photons arising from three-level cascade decay are intrinsically ordered in time of emission. This field correlation induces a joint resonance in the two-atom excitation probability via suppression of one of the time-ordered excitation pathways. The relative gain in two-photon absorption increases with the time-frequency entanglement.

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