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Title: Long-range interactions in one- and two-electron Rydberg atoms
Author: Vaillant, Christophe Louis J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 189X
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2014
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We present calculations of long-range interactions in Rydberg atoms, with a focus on the dipole-dipole interactions of strontium Rydberg states. The growing use of Rydberg states in the field of cold atoms necessitates a more detailed understanding of the effects of dipole-dipole interactions, which are currently being investigated in a number of research groups worldwide. Calculations of long-range interactions in Rydberg states of caesium, cal- cium, rubidium, strontium and ytterbium are presented. By taking the one active electron approximation we develop consistent models of these long- range interactions, and construct a survey of the Rydberg state dipole-dipole interactions and quadrupole-quadrupole interactions. We compare the inter- actions between series and between atoms, highlighting the importance of certain series for applications suggested in previous works. In order to include two-electron effects in the description of dipole-dipole interactions in divalent atoms, we use multichannel quantum defect theory (MQDT) to develop models of the Rydberg series of strontium. We use an empirical reactance matrix formalism, where the reactance matrix is fitted to reproduce experimentally measured values of the bound state energy levels. Models are found for all series of strontium with L ≤ 3. We extend the MQDT formalism to the description of the natural radiative lifetimes of strontium, where the perturbers are found to have a large quenching effect on these lifetimes. By incorporating the MQDT description of the Rydberg states of strontium into the calculation of dipole-dipole interactions, we find a spin-forbidden two-atom resonance in the 3D2 states of strontium. We consider a one- dimensional lattice of strontium atoms, and find that the internal dynamics of the Rydberg atoms demonstrates spin transport for large lattice spacings and a separation of the spin and total angular momentum dynamics for small lattice spacings. Spin-angular momentum separation (analogous to spin-charge separation in condensed matter) in strontium Rydberg atoms may have uses in the investigation of one-dimensional Fermi gases and their description using Luttinger liquid theory.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available