Vincent's main research interests lie at the boundary between quantum optics and cold atom physics, where experiments combine the quantum nature of light and the exquisite control of cold atoms.
Recent advances in quantum optics have allowed the generation of nonclassical states of light such as pairs of spatially entangled beams [1, 2]. These light fields, dubbed "quantum images", have subtle quantum correlations in their phases and their amplitudes that depends on the position in their transverse profiles. They could be used for the imaging of hard to see (transparent) objects, accurate beam positioning, or quantum cryptography . They are created by 4-wave mixing in an atomic vapour, which gives them another crucial property: they are narrowband and resonant with an atomic transition. We recently used this feature to build a quantum buffer for quantum images, that is to say an atomic device that can slow down the propagation of light without destroying the quantum entanglement .
Atomic quantum memories
The possibility of generating quantum light which is resonant with atoms allows us to envision the creation of quantum information processing (QIP) systems (for quantum communications, quantum computations, etc.) where light plays the role of information carrier and atoms the role of a memory. The challenge is to transfer quantum information from a beam of light to a collection of atoms, and to transfer it back to the light at a later time. The development of long-lived quantum memories is of paramount importance to the nascent field of QIP, and cold atoms in optical lattices are good candidates to provide a flexible and controllable testing ground for the implementation of new ideas toward this goal.