Hugues de Riedmatten offers perspective on a long-term memory of light

22 July 2013

As a tool for helping physicist stay abreast of new discoveries and work in their field, Physics highlights a selection of papers from the Physical Review Letters journals. In consultation with expert scientists, the editors choose these papers for their importance and/or intrinsic interest. Physics Viewpoints are commentaries written by active researchers, who are asked to explain the results to physicists in other subfields.

Hugues de Riedmatten was invited to comment on the recent publication in Physical Review Letters by Georg Heinze, Christian Hubrich, and Thomas Halfmann entitled ‘Stopped Light and Image Storage by Electromagnetically Induced Transparency up to the Regime of One Minute’.

The authors report a coherent optical memory able to store bright light pulses and even a full image in a Praseodymium doped crystal for durations of more than one minute, the longest storage time demonstrated in any system so far. This is an important step towards the realization of long lived solid state optical quantum memories.