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Title: Towards an imaging lattice for magnetically trapped atoms
Author: Owen, Edward
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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The imaging of neutral atoms confined in an optical lattice has been demonstrated by a number of groups, resolving single fluorescing atoms in samples of hundreds of atoms. To obtain a high signal the atoms remain confined in the wells of a deep optical lattice whilst fluorescence excitation light is applied for high resolution imaging. In most cases, the excitation light frequency is chosen so that there is a concomitant laser cooling effect. In existing implementations of an imaging lattice the preceding manipulation stage has used optical trapping and manipulation. In this thesis I describe work towards applying this imaging lattice technique on a magnetic trapping apparatus, in particular for carrying out quantum simulation experiments. An introduction to the specific challenge of performing a quantum simulation of the fractional quantum Hall effect is given, with the link to and nature of the imaging lattice technique explained. The existing quantum-gas machine that has been developed to produce Bose-Einstein condensates of 87Rb in this work is then described, including the new optical lattice subsystem and the associated diode laser system. An auxiliary project to develop a servo-control system for frequencies that are several GHz away from an atomic reference is presented. We implement an optical lattice using laser light with a frequency detuning of -20 GHz below the D1-resonance line. The construction and geometry of the individual dipole trapping beams in combination with our existing apparatus is discussed as well as the alignment methods used. We confirm the presence of three independent 1D lattices through diffraction, and observe the decay of a BEC loaded into a lattice using absorption imaging. We observe good long-term alignment and operational stability of the optical lattice. This system will enable us to ultimately detect single fluorescing atoms in the optical lattice, following the application of excitation light co-propogating with lattice beams, via an imaging system with a moderate numerical aperture of 0:27.
Supervisor: Foot, Christopher Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available