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Title: Monte Carlo simulations of cold atom ratchets
Author: Brown, M.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis reports the theoretical study of several cold atom ratchet systems. In particular the focus of the work is the determination of the ratchet current as a function of the ratchet parameters through analysis of the system symmetries and through numerical simulation. Ratchets are devices that exhibit directed motion in the absence of net forces. It is necessary to drive them away from thermal equilibrium so as to not violate the second law of thermodynamics. Currents are generated when the symmetries of the ratchet do not forbid it, a consequence of Curie's principle. An analysis of the symmetries will help determine for what parameters currents will be generated we perform such analyses in our investigations. The ratchets studied are modelled on the experimentally realised implementation of cold atoms in a driven optical lattice. Through the parameters of the driving and the optical lattice itself, we control the breaking of the symmetries and thus the generation of atomic currents. The precise relationship between current and ratchet parameters is explored by numerical simulation. In experiments the driving is achieved through a phase-modulation of the optical lattice beams. In numerical simulations we include the driving force directly in the equations of motion. We verify theoretically and numerically that the two approaches are equivalent. We have modelled the dynamics of atoms in light-fields through semiclassical and quantum treatments. The semiclassical treatment results in stochastic differential equations for the external degrees of freedom. These are simulated using the Monte-Carlo technique. For the fully quantum treatment we apply a stochastic trajectory method to simulate the master equation. We perform a comparison between different treatments for an over-damped ratchet.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available