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Proposal for a long-lived quantum memory using matter-wave optics with Bose-Einstein condensates in microgravity

E. Da Ros1,*, S. Kanthak1,*, E. Sağlamyürek2,3, M. Gündoğan1 and M. Krutzik1,4

Published in:

Phys. Rev. Research, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 033003, doi:10.1103/PhysRevResearch.5.033003 (2023).


Bose-Einstein condensates are a promising platform for optical quantum memories but suffer from several decoherence mechanisms, leading to short memory lifetimes. While some of these decoherence effects can be mitigated by conventional methods, density-dependent atom-atom collisions ultimately set the upper limit of the quantum memory lifetime to timescales of seconds in trapped Bose-Einstein condensates. We propose a quantum memory technique that utilizes microgravity as a resource to minimize such density-dependent effects. We show that by using optical atom lenses to collimate and refocus the freely expanding atomic ensembles, in a semi-ideal environment, the expected memory lifetime is only limited by the quality of the background vacuum. We anticipate that this method can be experimentally demonstrated in Earth-bound microgravity platforms or space missions, eventually leading to storage times of minutes and unprecedented time-bandwidth products of 1010.

1 Institut für Physik and IRIS Adlershof, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Newtonstraße 15, 12489 Berlin, Germany
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4
3 Department of Physics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E1
4 Ferdinand-Braun-Institut (FBH), Gustav-Kirchoff-Straße 4, 12489 Berlin, Germany
* These authors contributed equally to this work

Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article’s title, journal citation, and DOI.

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