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Phys Rev Lett. 2013 May 24;110(21):213604. Epub 2013 May 22.

Strong coupling between single atoms and nontransversal photons.

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Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology, Atominstitut, Vienna University of Technology, 1020 Vienna, Austria.


Light is often described as a fully transverse-polarized wave, i.e., with an electric field vector that is orthogonal to the direction of propagation. However, light confined in dielectric structures such as optical waveguides or whispering-gallery-mode microresonators can have a strong longitudinal polarization component. Here, using single (85)Rb atoms strongly coupled to a whispering-gallery-mode microresonator, we experimentally and theoretically demonstrate that the presence of this longitudinal polarization fundamentally alters the interaction between light and matter.

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