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Title: Rydberg atom ensembles under dephasing and dissipation : from single- to many-body dynamics
Author: Sibalic, Nikola
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 7474
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis explores the effects of decoherence and dephasing on single- and many- body dynamics of spin-systems. A particular realisation of the spin systems that the work focuses on are highly excited, Rydberg states of atoms. A software library ARC (Alkali Rydberg Calculator) for calculating properties of Rydberg states in alkali metals is presented, with particular attention to the multi- atom and multi-level effects that influence many-body dynamics in realistic systems, and properties related to terahertz imaging with alkali atom Rydberg states. Dressed-state electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) is proposed as a way of preparing uniform-phase spin-waves in ladder excitation schemes, making the collective excitation storage insensitive to motional dephasing. Proof of concept dressed state EIT experiments are presented. Strong resonant dressing is also theoretically analysed as a way of preparing velocity superposition of spin-waves. The developed theoretical model is in a good agreement with existing experimental data on single-photon many-atom quantum beats in diamond excitation schemes. By modelling the strongly driven Rydberg ensembles, many-body dynamics of driven-dissipative spin systems is analysed. Working in the limit of strong dephasing, the effects of fluctuations, the shape of interaction potential, spatial correlations and motion on non-equilibrium phase diagrams and the occurrence of bistability are examined. An ensemble averaged mean field model is introduced as an exact solution for completely uncorrelated ensembles. It is shown that the van der Waals interaction does not allow the occurrence of bistability, for which a finite dipolar core is required. The short-range interaction potential shape is found to have a profound influence on non-equilibrium phase diagrams, controlling the size of fluctuations in the dynamics. For a frozen system, several methods for identifying and quantifying bistable phases are introduced, and phase diagrams are reconstructed. It is shown that the temperature of external degrees of freedom, i.e. spin motion, can drive a non-equilibrium transition into the bistable phase.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available