Electromagnetically induced transparency of ultra-long-range Rydberg molecules
AbstractWe study the impact of Rydberg molecule formation on the storage and retrieval of Rydberg polaritons in an ultracold atomic medium. We observe coherent revivals appearing in the storage and retrieval efficiency of stored photons that originate from simultaneous excitation of Rydberg atoms and Rydberg molecules in the system with subsequent interference between the possible storage paths. We show that over a large range of principal quantum numbers the observed results can be described by a two-state model including only the atomic Rydberg state and the Rydberg dimer molecule state. At higher principal quantum numbers the influence of polyatomic molecules becomes relevant and the dynamics of the system undergoes a transition from coherent evolution of a few-state system to an effective dephasing into a continuum of molecular states.