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Title: Trapping ultracold atoms in time-averaged adiabatic potentials
Author: Gildemeister, Marcus
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 4182
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis describes the trapping and manipulation of ultracold atoms in time-averaged adiabatic potentials (TAAP). The time-averaged adiabatic potential, proposed in [Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 083001 (2007)], uses resonant radio frequency (rf) radiation to couple the different magnetic substates of a hyperfine level manifold. The resultant dressed states are time-averaged and produce smooth and versatile trapping geometries. More specifically, we apply rf-radiation (MHz) to a quadrupole magnetic field, which results in an ellipsoidal trapping potential for rubidium-87 atoms in the F=1 manifold. This geometry is time-averaged with the help of oscillating (kHz) Helmholtz fields. We develop a convenient loading scheme for the TAAP which uses a standard TOP trap and suffers negligible atom losses and heating. Subsequently we characterize the TAAP trap itself and observe low heating rates and sufficient lifetimes (>3s). Furthermore it is possible to use a second, weaker rf-field to evaporatively cool the atoms to quantum degeneracy [Phys. Rev. A. 81, 031402 (2010)]. This opens up a route for further experiments in this potential: we show how atoms can be trapped in a double well potential and a ring trap geometry. Additionally a process to instigate rotation in these potentials by rotating the polarization of the rf-radiation is developed and implemented. This allows us to impart angular momentum onto the atomic cloud and spin it into a ring.
Supervisor: Foot, Christopher Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Physics ; Atomic and laser physics ; adiabatic potential