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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Oct 26;99(17):173603. Epub 2007 Oct 26.

Controlled coupling of counterpropagating whispering-gallery modes by a single Rayleigh scatterer: a classical problem in a quantum optical light.

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Nano-Optics, Humboldt University, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7, D-10117 Berlin, Germany.


We present experiments where a single subwavelength scatterer is used to examine and control the backscattering induced coupling between counterpropagating high-Q modes of a microsphere resonator. Our measurements reveal the standing wave character of the resulting symmetric and antisymmetric eigenmodes, their unbalanced intensity distributions, and the coherent nature of their coupling. We discuss our findings and the underlying classical physics in the framework common to quantum optics and provide a particularly intuitive explanation of the central processes.

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