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Pauli blocking of atom-light scattering



Christian Sanner, Lindsay Sonderhouse, Ross Hutson, Lingfeng Yan, William Milner, Jun Ye


Transition rates between coupled states in a quantum system depend on the density of available final states. The radiative decay of an excited atomic state has been suppressed by reducing the density of electromagnetic vacuum modes near the atomic transition. Likewise, reducing the density of available momentum modes of the atomic motion when it is embedded inside a Fermi sea will suppress spontaneous emission and photon scattering rates. Here we report the experimental demonstration of suppressed light scattering in a quantum degenerate Fermi gas. We systematically measured the dependence of the suppression factor on the temperature and Fermi energy of a strontium quantum gas and achieved suppression of scattering rates by up to a factor of 2 compared with a thermal gas.
Science Magazine


Fermi gas, Pauli blocking, spontaneous decay


Sanner, C. , Sonderhouse, L. , Hutson, R. , Yan, L. , Milner, W. and Ye, J. (2021), Pauli blocking of atom-light scattering, Science Magazine, [online],, (Accessed June 19, 2024)


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Created November 18, 2021, Updated November 29, 2022