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Title: Coherent atomic manipulation and cooling using composite optical pulse sequences
Author: Dunning, Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 2206
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2014
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The laser cooling of atoms to ultracold temperatures has propelled many groundbreaking advances in fundamental research and precision measurement, through such applications as quantum simulators and interferometric sensors. Laser cooling remains, however, highly species-selective, and techniques for its application to molecules are still in their infancy. This thesis broadly concerns the development of laser cooling schemes, based on sequences of coherent optical pulses, which can in principle be applied to a wide range of species. We describe a cooling scheme, in which a velocity-selective impulse analogous to that in Doppler cooling is generated by a light-pulse Ramsey interferometer, and present a proof-of-concept demonstration of the scheme using ultracold rubidium-85 atoms as a test-bed. We realise an interferometer for the atoms, as they are in free-fall after release from a magneto-optical trap, by inducing stimulated Raman transitions between their ground hyperfine states. We provide a comprehensive characterisation of these Raman light-pulse interferometer optics, where particular attention is paid to light shift effects. Raman pulses, and indeed coherent operations in any quantum control system, unavoidably suffer from systematic errors in the control field intensity and frequency, and these lead to reductions in pulse fidelity and readout contrast. In parallel to the work on interferometric cooling in this thesis, we report our preliminary investigations into composite pulses, whereby `naive' single pulses are replaced by sequences of rotations with tailored durations and phases, for improving pulse fidelity in the presence of inhomogeneities. We find that composite pulses can indeed be highly effective in our cold atom system, and propose that their application in such devices as interferometric sensors is a promising prospect.
Supervisor: Freegarde, Timothy Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QC Physics ; TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering