Rydberg atom quantum technologies

Adams, C S and Pritchard, J D and Shaffer, J P (2019) Rydberg atom quantum technologies. Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, 53 (1). 012002. ISSN 0953-4075

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    Abstract

    This topical review addresses how Rydberg atoms can serve as building blocks for emerging quantum technologies. Whereas the fabrication of large numbers of artificial quantum systems with the uniformity required for the most attractive applications is difficult if not impossible, atoms provide stable quantum systems which, for the same species and isotope, are all identical. Whilst atomic ground-states provide scalable quantum objects, their applications are limited by the range over which their properties can be varied. In contrast, Rydberg atoms offer strong and controllable atomic interactions that can be tuned by selecting states with different principal quantum number or orbital angular momentum. In addition Rydberg atoms are comparatively long-lived, and the large number of available energy levels and their separations allow coupling to electromagnetic fields spanning over 6 orders of magnitude in frequency. These features make Rydberg atoms highly desirable for developing new quantum technologies. After giving a brief introduction to how the properties of Rydberg atoms can be tuned, we give several examples of current areas where the unique advantages of Rydberg atom systems are being exploited to enable new applications in quantum computing, electromagnetic field sensing, and quantum optics.