Fish-Eye Lens May Entangle Pairs of Atoms

September 6, 2018

Fig. 1 from J. Perczel et al., Phys. Rev. A (2018)

Nearly 150 years ago, the physicist James Maxwell proposed that a circular lens that is thickest at its center, and that gradually thins out at its edges, should exhibit some fascinating optical behavior. Namely, when light is shone through such a lens, it should travel around in perfect circles, creating highly unusual, curved paths of light.

He also noted that such a lens, at least broadly speaking, resembles the eye of a fish. The lens configuration he devised has since been known in physics as Maxwell's fish-eye lens—a theoretical construct that is only slightly similar to commercially available fish-eye lenses for cameras and telescopes.

Now scientists at MIT and Harvard University have for the first time studied this unique, theoretical lens from a quantum mechanical perspective, to see how individual atoms and photons may behave within the lens. In a study published Wednesday in Physical Review A, they report that the unique configuration of the fish-eye lens enables it to guide single photons through the lens, in such a way as to entangle pairs of atoms, even over relatively long distances.

Continue reading "Fish-eye lens may entangle pairs of atoms" by Jennifer Chu,, September 6, 2018.

Also read the original article:
J. Perczel, P. Kómár, and M. D. Lukin, "Quantum optics in Maxwell's fish eye lens with single atoms and photons," Phys. Rev. A 98 (2018), DOI: