WhippingBoy: Awesome. I've been storing my light in old paint cans under the stairs; this looks to be more efficient.
Hector Remarkable: Let me just see if I've got this straight...To stop and retrieve light pulses without destroying their quantum coherence, light coherence needs to be converted into atomic coherences. This can be achieved with electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT), a quantum interference effect that makes an opaque medium transparent over a narrow spectral range. In EIT, a control laser beam excites atomic systems with two ground spin states connected to an excited state by optically allowed transitions [see Fig. 1(a)]. Through destructive interference, the transition probability between one of the ground states and the excited state (hence the absorption at the corresponding frequency) vanishes. The change of absorption results in a very steep change of refractive index that reduces the group velocity of an incoming light pulse. Light can be slowed down to the point that it comes to a halt: by switching off the control beam when the light is within the sample, the photons can be converted into collective atomic spin excitations (so called spin waves). The spin waves can be stored in the atoms for as long as the coherence between the two spin levels survives, before being converted back into light by turning on the control pulse again. The scheme thus allows the coherent storage and retrieval of light.Okay, got it.
NotARocketScientist: lightbulbs store light?
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