Ultracold gases of Rydberg-dressed atoms in multi-well traps

Hamadeh, Lama (2015) Ultracold gases of Rydberg-dressed atoms in multi-well traps. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Rydberg-dressed ground state atoms are atoms with an electron off-resonantly excited to a very high energy state, i.e., a state of high principal quantum number n ≫ 1. This thesis investigates the quantum dynamics of interacting Rydberg-dressed ground state atoms trapped in several multi-well potential traps. Rydberg atoms are atoms with exaggerated properties. One of their most interesting properties is that they exhibit a strong and long-ranged interaction that can be tuned leading to a variety of different quantum behaviours. My work focuses on studying the effects of these interacting atoms when loaded in multi-well potential traps. Generally, multi-well systems are considered as the simplest example of a finite optical lattice structure. For this reason, this thesis covers three research topics that examine the effects of long-range interaction on Rydberg-dressed atoms trapped in several potential confinements.

I begin, in the introduction, by discussing the theoretical background of relevance to this work. It starts with presenting the physics of Bose-Einstein condensate. Then, the fundamentals of the interaction between two-level atom and light are analytically studied. This study has the purpose of understanding both; the dressed interacting atoms and optical lattices. The definition, characteristics, and the nature of the interaction between Rydberg atoms are analysed afterwards.

The second chapter examines the dynamics of an ensemble of interacting Rydberg- dressed atoms trapped in static, i.e., time-independent, multi-well potentials using a mean-field theoretical approach. I choose one-dimensional double- and triple-well in addition to a two-dimensional quadruple-well potentials. The time-dependent non-linear Gross-Pitaevskii equation is used to numerically explore the ensemble’s quantum dynamics. Solving the dynamical differential equations along with tuning the strength of the applied long-range interaction shows that the behaviour of non-interacting Rydberg-dressed atoms does not differ conceptually according to the geometry of the trapping potential. However, this changes when the interactions are switched on where the shape of the confinement leads to interesting outcomes especially in the non-linear interacting limit, such as macroscopic quantum self-trapping.

After investigating an ensemble of interacting Rydberg-dressed atoms in static multi-well potential traps, the second research topic examines the dynamical evolution of these atoms when loaded in a finite optical lattice using the extended Bose-Hubbard model. In this chapter, the atoms ensemble is assumed to be in a superfluid state where I investigate both, the order parameter when the Rydberg excitation laser is applied and the interference pattern of the condensates in different dimensions. The study shows the emerging long-range interactions lead to a rapid collapse of the superfluid order parameter and in general allow only for partial revivals. In addition, the interference experiments can directly reveal the interaction between Rydberg-dressed atoms.

In the fourth chapter, the dynamics of Rydberg-dressed atoms trapped in a dynamical, i.e., time-dependent, potential confinement is presented. The dynamical trap is constructed such that it begins as a harmonic oscillator and ends as a double- well potential. The analysis investigates an ensemble of contact-interacting atoms via the time-dependent non-linear GP equation.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Lesanovsky, Igor
Kruger, Peter
Keywords: Rydberg-dressed ground state atoms; multi-well potential traps
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics > QC170 Atomic physics. Constitution and properties of matter
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Physics and Astronomy
Item ID: 55953
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2019 12:06
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2019 18:02
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/55953

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