Slow light and its application in quantum information

Over the last decade tremendous progress has been made in slowing and stopping of light. In specially prepared atomic gases the velocity of light has been reduced to that of a bicyclist, and it is now possible to reversibly store even the tiniest amount of light, a single photon, in such a gas. This effect may be used in quantum information, for instance to build a quantum memory which is an essential tool for long-distance quantum communication. In this talk I will give a review of the basic mechanisms to store light and describe our recent contributions to this field, including routing of quantum information, the design of a photon-controlled light switch, and "charged" photons.