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Title: Detecting atoms with integrated optics and frequency-synthesised light
Author: Kohnen, Matthias
ISNI:       0000 0004 2732 0418
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis reports on the development of novel techniques for the detection and manipulation of cold gases of neutral atoms. The research presented focusses on the implementation of a photonic waveguide chip into an atom optics experiment. Our photonic chip consists of 12 parallel waveguides with a 10 µm pitch and a 16 µm trench in the centre. A wire subchip underneath the photonic chip can create magnetic fields to guide atoms into the trench and hold them there. The electric field of the light mode propagating through the waveguides has a 1/e radius of 2:2 µm. This small light mode can readily be used for local measurements of the atomic density. This thesis describes the setup of the waveguide chip experiment and gives a detailed characterisation of the interaction between light and atoms in the trench. Additionally, I report on a scheme for detecting atoms while minimising the number of scattered photons for a given precision of the measurement. We use a light beam synthesized from two frequencies tuned to either side of the atomic resonance and detect the differential phase shift they acquire when passing through an atomic cloud by referencing the beat between the two frequencies to a local oscillator. Unlike most similar techniques our beam does not contain a carrier signal and can therefore be balanced around the atomic resonance in order to cancel the mean optical dipole force on the atoms.
Supervisor: Hinds, Edward Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral