Atomic Physics Seminar

Triatomic molecules are deceptively simple. Even though there is only one additional atom compared to a diatomic molecule, this leads to non-trivial additional motional degrees of freedom and new associated quantum numbers. This, plus the larger density of states, realizes a quantum object whose complexity leads to new chemistry and physics research opportunities and concomitantly presents new challenges in molecular control. The science opportunities include the development of accurate and precise manipulation of chemical reactions and collisions in a qualitatively more complex species. But the reach of triatomics also includes dramatically improved, novel approaches to searches for physics beyond the Standard Model, and enhanced platforms for quantum computing using molecular tweezer arrays, both of which are aided by the low lying bending modes present in triatomic molecules. All of these research frontiers with triatomics, and their symmetric and asymmetric top brethren, either require or are greatly enhanced by chilling them to ultracold temperatures where they can be prepared in exquisitely well-defined internal and external motional states.



The recent experimental advances in direct laser cooling of diatomic molecules and triatomic molecules clearly indicates that full extension of laser tools - the creation of a magneto-optical trap (MOT) plus sub-Doppler cooling - to triatomic species should be possible. Recently in our laboratory we achieved a magneto-optical trap of diatomic molecules with CaF, sub-Doppler cooling to 40 µK, and loading of these molecules into an optical dipole trap. We also accomplished the first laser cooling and bichromatic force deflection of a polyatomic molecule, using SrOH. In addition, in 2016 we proposed the laser cooling of more complex polyatomic molecules using the methods we have now demonstrated. In particular, symmetric top molecules like CaOCH3 (and, possibly, related asymmetric top molecules) look extremely promising for direct laser cooling. The experimental prospects for a MOT of CaOH, YbOH, and CaOCH3 will be discussed.

Host: 
Saffman
Speaker: Prof. John Doyle Harvard

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
5310 Chamberlin
The interstellar medium (ISM) is multi-phase, turbulent, and magnetic. This makes the ISM an ideal laboratory for studying the multi-scale physics of star formation and galactic evolution. This unfortunately also makes the ISM a formidable foreground for cosmology experiments, such as the search for inflationary gravitational wave B-mode polarization in the cosmic microwave background. I will discuss recent work on magnetic fields in the diffuse ISM, with a particular focus on insights from high-dynamic range observations of neutral hydrogen and polarized dust emission. Novel tools for quantifying the morphology of interstellar material are enabling new probes of the ambient magnetic field structure, and thus a better characterization of polarized cosmological foregrounds. The hunt for primordial signals is now inextricably linked to our understanding of the magnetic ISM.
Host: 
Prof Alexander Lazarian
Speaker: Susan Clark Institute for Advanced Study

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
4421 Sterling Hall, Coffee and cookies 3:30 pm, Talk begins at 3:45 pm
We present results of theoretical and experimental studies of Stark-tuned Forster resonances in Rydberg atoms. Two trapped<br>
atoms are excited into Rydberg states which are then tuned by the external electric field midway between two other Rydberg states of the opposite parity. The collective two-atom states are coupled by dipole-dipole interaction. We have proposed schemes of two-qubit gates using adiabatic passage of Forster resonances in time-dependent electric field. We have shown that radiofrequency electric fields can induce additional "inaccessible" resonances which are useful both for coherent coupling and for adiabatic passage. We have experimentally observed Borromean three-body Forster resonances for three interacting Rydberg atoms.
Host: 
Saffman
Speaker: Dr. Ilya Beterov Institute of Semiconductor Physics Novosibirsk, Russia

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
5310 Chamberlin Hall
The next generation experiments for the electric dipole moment (EDM) of the neutron search for a manifestation of yet unknown time reversal violation sources. In the Munich nEDM experiment ultra-cold neutrons are stored in two cylindrical vessels and subject to parallel and anti-parallel magnetic and electric fields. Applying Ramsey's method of separated oscillatory fields a phase proportional to the EDM is obtained from a clock comparison scheme.

The first part of this talk discusses the general scheme of nEDM experiment with respect to the upcoming 2018 measurements at the Institut Laue-Langevin. The latter part will focus on optical Cs and Hg magnetometers used to monitor and stabilize the magnetic field.
Host: 
Walker
Speaker: David Wurm TUM Munich

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
5280 Chamberlin Hall
Strong, long-range interactions between atoms in high-lying Rydberg states
make them attractive systems for the studies of ordered phases of interacting
many-body systems and simulating quantum phase transitions.

Several conceptually different approaches have been explored, both theoretically
and experimentally, for the preparation of crystalline order of Rydberg excitations
in spatially-extended ensembles of cold atoms. These include direct (near-)resonant
laser excitation of strongly-interacting Rydberg states in a two-dimensional lattice
gas, and adiabatic preparation of crystalline phases of Rydberg excitations in a
one-dimensional optical lattice by adiabatic frequency sweep of the excitation laser.
We show, however, that taking into account realistic relaxation processes affecting
the atoms severely complicates the prospects of attaining sizable crystals of Rydberg
excitations in laser-driven atomic media. Our simulations well reproduce the
experimental observations of spatial ordering of Rydberg excitations in driven
dissipative lattice gases, as well as highly sub-Poissonian probability distribution
of the excitation number. We find that the excitations essentially form liquid rather
than crystal phases with long-range order.
Host: 
Mark Saffman
Speaker: Prof. David Petrosyan Institute of Electronic Structure & Laser (IESL) Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH) Heraklion, Crete, GREECE

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
5310 Chamberlin Hall
Thursday, March 23rd, 2017
Host: 
Mark Saffman
Speaker: Mark Saffman, et al.

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
2241 Chamberlin hall
The answer to many scientific questions ranging from fundamental physics to aspects of photosynthesis lie in the study of quantum systems. A requirement for such studies is often to initialize the systems, manipulate them and read them out. However, many of the systems with interesting applications tend to have a complex level structure rendering these requirements difficult to meet.

In this talk, I will discuss experimental strategies to control complex ions and molecules for which standard trapping, cooling and state manipulation methods fail. In particular, I will discuss how complex ions, such as Ti+ or Fe+, can be studied and used to place limits on the temporal variation of fundamental constants. Moreover, I will present a strategy to laser cool the diatomic molecule calcium monofluoride, a precursor to produce a degenerate dipolar quantum gas. Finally, I will show how strings of ions can be used to emulate processes relevant for transport phenomena in light harvesting processes.

I will conclude with a discussion on how to control and study two further quantum systems: electrons and aluminum chloride. Electrons can be stored in a novel two-frequency Paul trap, constituting the first step towards electron quantum computing; such a trap has, moreover, the potential to advance studies on matter-antimatter asymmetries by improving antihydrogen production. Furthermore, I will explain a laser cooling scheme for aluminum chloride, a molecule with excellent prospects for generating high phase-space density clouds at ultracold temperatures to study the physics of degenerate dipolar quantum gases.
Host: 
thad Walker
Speaker: Boerge Hemmerling UC Berkeley

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
5280 Chamberlin Hall
Optical lattice clocks (OLCs) are now the most stable and accurate timekeepers in the world, with fractional accuracies equivalent to neither losing nor gaining a second over the entire age of the universe. This unprecedented level of metrological precision offers sensitivity to new quantum, many-body, and fundamental physics effects, opening the door to exciting and unusual applications. However, the current generation of OLCs are now approaching their classical limits, requiring quantum science techniques to reach the next frontier in clock performance.

This talk will provide an introduction to how and why time is measured, with an emphasis on OLCs and their applications. I will discuss recent progress on pushing OLCs to even greater levels of precision, as well as prospects for future improvement. I also will present results from a recent experiment in which we harnessed the precision of an OLC to simulate complex condensed matter phenomena. Finally, I will give a brief overview of potential future applications of OLCs, including gravitational wave detection, tests of general relativity, and searches for physics beyond the Standard Model.
Host: 
Thad Walker
Speaker: Shimon Kolkowitz JILA - University of Colorado Boulder

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
5280 Chamberlin Hall

Advances in the control of light propagation and photon-photon interactions have lead to a new notion of photonic materials -- states of light that resemble material systems. I will describe our experimental approach to photonic materials, in which we use a degenerate non-planar optical resonator to realize a two-dimensional photon gas with an effective magnetic field. We observe photonic Landau levels, indicating a strong effective magnetic field, and a singularity of spatial curvature arising from the effectively conical geometry of our photon gas. Spatial curvature provides a novel probe of quantum Hall states, allowing us to make the first experimental measurement of the mean orbital spin, which characterizes topological phases. To realize photon-photon interactions, we demonstrate hybridization of photons in an optical resonator with atomic Rydberg excitations. Future work will investigate ordered states of interacting photons, including crystalline and fractional quantum Hall states.

Host: 
Thad Walker
Speaker: Ariel Sommer MIT

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
5280 Chamberlin Hall

Single-photon cross phase shifts and other single-photon nonlinearities have numerous applications in all-optical quantum information processing. Several groups have experimentally achieved single-photon phase shifts on the order of pi. However, nonlinearities weaker than this have important applications as well. We introduce the idea of using metastable xenon gas in a high-finesse cavity to produce weak single-photon nonlinearities. This relatively simple and robust system avoids problems associated with the accumulation of alkali atoms on mirror surfaces, and is capable of approaching the strong coupling regime of cavity quantum electrodynamics. We demonstrate the feasibility of our approach with two proof-of-principle demonstrations, by measuring absorption saturation and cross-phase modulation using a cavity of moderately high finesse F=3,000. We find that the nonlinear effects occur at ultralow input power levels, proving that the presence of the cavity strongly enhances the inherent optical nonlinearities of metastable xenon. We close our discussion by reviewing our recent progress in building an improved cavity system, which is expected to produce enhanced single photon cross phase shifts.

Host: 
Saffman
Speaker: Garrett Hickman UMBC

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
5310 Chamberlin

Pages

©2013 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System