Tübingen researchers can control interplay of light and matter at the level of individual photons emitted by rubidium.
Researchers led by Dr. Sebastian Slama of Tübingen University's Institute of Physics have succeeded in directing the fluorescence of ultracold atoms into surface plasmons -- light waves oscillating across a metal surface. Quantum physicists aim to create tiny systems in which things such as the interplay of light and matter may be observed at the level of individual photons. Such controlled systems hold the promise of applications such as transistors and switches depending on a single photon. The results have been published online in Nature Physics.