Towards using noble gases as quantum memories with minute-long and hour-long lifetimes at room temperature.
Macroscopic quantum systems typically suffer from rapid loss of coherence due to coupling to the environment. An ensemble of noble-gas nuclear spins is a unique isolated system that could maintain its coherence for many hours at room temperature and above. Notably, noble-gas nuclear spins can be employed as an exceptionally stable magnetometer. However, their isolation from the environment is a mixed blessing, impeding the coherent interfacing of noble-gas spins with other quantum systems.
We show that spin-exchange collisions between noble-gas and alkali-metal atoms provide for such a strong, coherent, and externally-controllable interface. Preliminary experimental results, shown below, indicate that this interface can be brought to the strong-coupling regime. These results pave the way towards quantum memories and entanglement at room-temperature with minute-long lifetimes.