© Zachary Dutton (Harvard University, now at BB&N) and Lene V. Hau.
Two light pulses are slowed and imprinted in a Bose-Einstein condensate. After the light pulses are extinguished, condensate dynamics is used to process the information that was originally carried in the light pulses but is now in matter form. The processing is conditional: At the end of the process, the "content" of one pulse will depend on the "content" of the other. The resulting matter imprints can subsequently be read back out into the light field and the processed information easily transported over optical fibers. The system described here could potentially be scaled up to incorporate a three-dimensional input pattern of many light pulses.