Atomic Physics Seminar

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

 

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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

 

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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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Room and Building: 
5310 Chamberlin
In the last decades, advances in the level of precision in controlling atomic and optical systems opened up the low-energy precision frontier to fundamental physics tests in addition to yielding new applied sensing technologies. In this talk I will focus on our experiments with cold atoms highlighting some of the most recent developments in the prospect of using quantum entanglement to further improve the precision of atomic and optical sensors.
I will describe the generation of 20dB spin-squeezed states of half a million 87Rb atoms inside of an optical cavity. From a practical point of view, the generated states enable up to a 100-fold reduction in required averaging times or atom numbers to achieve a given precision. I will explain the implementation of an atomic clock operating 10 dB beyond the standard quantum limit as well as the investigations of entanglement and Bell correlations in this system. I will then describe the demonstration of a new concept we call quantum phase magnification which utilizes optical cavity-aided interactions between atoms to magnify signals to-be-measured. This technique eliminates the need for low noise detection to achieve phase sensitivities beyond the standard quantum limit. I will conclude with future visions.
Host: 
Thad Walker
Speaker: Onur Hosten stanford

 

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Room and Building: 
5310 Chamberlin Hall

Polar molecules offer long-range anisotropic interactions, which are fundamental to a wide variety of phenomena, from ferrofluid behavior to the folding of proteins. Recent demonstrations of cooling and trapping polar molecules have made it possible to study these particles in the quantum regime, making them highly attractive for applications such as quantum information storage and exploring novel condensed matter phases. In this talk, I will report on the quantum control of dipolar fermionic NaK molecules, which we have synthesized in the ground state at ultracold temperatures as low as 300 nK. Using microwaves, we have coherently manipulated not only the rotational states of the molecules, but also the nuclear spin degree of freedom. I will present our observation of nuclear spin coherence times on the scale of 1 second, and discuss its implications for quantum memory and probing new physics via Hertz-level precision spectroscopy.

Host: 
Thad Walker
Speaker: Huanqian Loh MIT

 

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Room and Building: 
5280 Chamberlin Hall

High energy short pulse lasers are useful tools for probing the structure and dynamics of materials and accelerating particles. The European Union is investing in a network of laser centers focused on fundamental research called the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI). ELI hopes to allow the investigation of new regimes of laser-matter interaction with multi-petawatt laser pulses and unprecedented repetition rates. In this talk I will present one of the facilities currently under development in Prague, Czech Republic. While an overview of the laser systems under development will be given, the primary focus of the talk will be on current techniques and principles of high energy laser amplification.

Host: 
Yavuz
Speaker: Tyler Green ELI project at the Czech Republic.

 

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Room and Building: 
5310 Chamberlin Hall

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