Observing the Dynamics of Dipole-Mediated Energy Transport by Interaction-Enhanced Imaging

Date: 2013-11-07
Authors G. Günter, H. Schempp, M. Robert-de-Saint-Vincent, V. Gavryusev, S. Helmrich, C. S. Hofmann, S. Whitlock, M. Weidemüller
Journal No. Science 342, 954 (2013)
Abstract Electronically highly excited (Rydberg) atoms experience quantum state–changing interactions similar to Förster processes found in complex molecules, offering a model system to study the nature of dipole-mediated energy transport under the influence of a controlled environment. We demonstrate a nondestructive imaging method to monitor the migration of electronic excitations with high time and spatial resolution, using electromagnetically induced transparency on a background gas acting as an amplifier. The continuous spatial projection of the electronic quantum state under observation determines the many-body dynamics of the energy transport.