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Title: Strong correlations in ultracold atomic gases
Author: Nunnenkamp, Andreas
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2008
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In this thesis we investigate strongly-correlated states of ultracold bosonic atoms in rotating ring lattices and arrays of double-well potentials. In the first part of the thesis, we study the tunneling dynamics of ultracold bosons in double-well potentials. In the non-interacting limit single-particle transitions dominate, while in the interaction-dominated regime correlated tunneling of all particles prevails. At intermediate times of the many-particle flopping process correlated states occur, but the timescales of these processes increase dramatically with the number of particles. Using an array of double-well potentials, a large number of such few-particle superposition states can be produced in parallel. In the second part of the thesis, we study the effects of rotation on ultracold bosons confined to one-dimensional ring lattices. We find that at commensurate filling there exists a critical rotation frequency, at which the ground state of the weakly-interacting gas is fragmented into a macroscopic superposition of different quasi-momentum states. We demonstrate that the generation of such superposition states using slightly non-uniform ring lattices has several practical advantages. Moreover, we show that different quasi-momentum states can be distinguished in time-of-flight absorption imaging and propose to probe correlations via the many-body oscillations induced by a sudden change in the rotation frequency. Finally, we compare these macroscopic superposition states to those occurring in superconducting quantum interference devices. In the third part of the thesis, we demonstrate the creation of entangled states with ultracold bosonic atoms by dynamical manipulation of the shape of the lattice potential. To this end, we consider an optical superlattice that allows both the splitting of each site into a double-well potential and the variation of the height of the potential barrier between the sites. We show how to use this array of double-well potentials to perform entangling operations between neighboring qubits encoded on the Zeeman levels of the atoms. As one possible application, we present a method of realizing a resource state for measurement-based quantum computation via Bell-pair measurements. In the final part of the thesis, we study ultracold bosons on a two-dimensional square lattice in the presence of an effective magnetic field and point out a couple of features this system has in common with ultracold bosons in one-dimensional rotating ring lattices.
Supervisor: Burnett, Keith ; Walmsley, Ian Sponsor: Rhodes Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Physical Sciences ; Physics ; Atomic and laser physics ; Theoretical physics ; ultracold bosons ; optical lattices ; macroscopic superposition states ; quantum information science ; entanglement ; strongly correlated systems