Physicists at Marburg University assign unexpected experimental results to a quantum memory.
Prior to this work, ideal light sources (such as perfect lasers) were thought to emit as much light as excited in them via pumping. Physicists from Marburg, Dortmund, St. Petersburg, and Notre Dame, USA, investigated optically pumped quantum-dot lasers and demonstrated that the pumping induces a quantum memory between the pump excitation and the light emission. Beating expectations, this quantum-memory was shown to induce intensity oscillations on top of the expected linear output. Even more striking, these oscillations could be either suppressed or significantly enhanced via the quantum fluctuations of the pump laser. This breakthrough will be published in the coming issue of the journal Physical Review Letters on 15.08.2014.