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Title: Creation of a strontium microtrap : towards a spin-squeezed atomic clock
Author: Hanley, Ryan Keith
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 4812
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis details the development of the pre-requisite experimental tools to create a proof-of-principle spin-squeezed atomic clock based upon an array of individual strontium atoms using Rydberg-dressed interactions. We experimentally and theoretically study Rydberg-dressing in a strontium narrow-line MOT, demonstrating that it is possible to coherently admix a Rydberg state into the narrow intercombination transitions of strontium. This work is based upon a quantitative semi-classical Monte-Carlo model of a strontium narrow-line MOT, where the combination of a quantum treatment of the light scattering process with a Monte-Carlo simulation of the atomic motion leads to a quantitative description of the spatial, thermal and temporal dynamics of the narrow-line MOT. By performing calculations of the dynamic polarisability of all the states relevant to laser cooling strontium, we have designed and constructed a new experimental apparatus to facilitate the creation of a microtrap of strontium. We observe and characterise the frst known microtrap of strontium and outline the next steps towards the creation of an array of single atoms. Due to the creation of Rydberg atoms in the strontium microtrap, understanding ionisation and interaction mechanisms may be of signifcant importance. We therefore study Rydberg ionisation mechanisms in a thermal beam of strontium atoms using simultaneous measurements of Rydberg EIT and spontaneously created ions or electrons. By connecting the optical and electrical signals using the optical Bloch equations, we are able to determine the dominant ionisation mechanisms of Rydberg atoms in the thermal beam. We also report the frst observations of optical and electrical bistability, which may shed further light onto the origin of bistability in atom vapours.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available