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Title: Collective behaviour in ensembles of ultracold rubidium atoms
Author: Ilieva, Teodora Vellcheva
ISNI:       0000 0004 8501 6211
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2019
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High optical nonlinearities can be achieved at the single photon level by coupling the photon states to strongly interacting Rydberg excitations under the conditions of electromagnetically induced transparency. The nonlinear response in Rydberg quantum optics comes as a direct result of the long range dipole-dipole interactions via Rydberg blockade and interaction induced dephasing. In this thesis, Rydberg quantum optics experiments are performed with two spatially separated mediums with a nonlinear response at the single photon level. Two ultracold rubidium atomic clouds are tightly confined by a pair of in-vacuo aspheric lenses such that only a few Rydberg excitations can exist in each one of the clouds simultaneously. The long range character of the dipole-dipole interactions leads to the generation of quantum states of light. The effective photon-photon interactions are directly observed as an anti-correlation in the simultaneous photon retrieval as a result of the non resonant van der Waals interactions. The collective Rydberg excitations, stored in the non-overlapping mediums, experience an additional spatial non-uniform phase. In addition, we experimentally characterize the cooperative optical response of a cold atomic medium at a single photon level. This aims to exploit the enhancement of the spontaneous emissions decay rate (superradiance) as a dependence of the number of atoms involved in the ensemble. The observed atomic response in two different regimes gives a further understanding of the system dynamics and unlocks a promising potential route towards the implementation in scalable, multichannel quantum optical devices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available