The Refractive Index of a Single Atom Experienced by a Single Photon

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The refractive index of a system is often viewed as the collective response of a medium to an electromagnetic field. Nevertheless, even if targeted at a single atom, the incoming light undergoes the dispersion. By studying the propagation of a single photon interacting with a two-level atom, we examine the dispersion behavior, calculate the phase and group velocity of the photon wave packet, and further analyze the dispersion experienced by the photon. These findings are critical for advancing long-distance quantum communications.


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This is an Open Access article published by Elsevier and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

This article is the digital version of record, and will appear in volume 13 of Results in Optics, as fully cited below.

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Results in Optics

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