Experimental Investigation of Three-Dimensional Single and Double optical Lattices
Abstract (Summary)A complete laser cooling setup was built, with focus on threedimensional near-resonant optical lattices for cesium. These consist of regularly ordered micropotentials, created by the interference of four laser beams. One key feature of optical lattices is an inherent ”Sisyphus cooling” process. It efficiently extracts kinetic energy from the atoms, leading to equilibrium temperatures of a few µK. The corresponding kinetic energy is lower than the depth of the potential wells, so that atoms can be trapped.We performed detailed studies of the cooling processes in optical lattices by using the time-of-flight and absorption-imaging techniques. We investigated the dependence of the equilibrium temperature on the optical lattice parameters, such as detuning, optical potential and lattice geometry. The presence of neighbouring transitions in the cesium hyperfine level structure was used to break symmetries in order to identify, which role “red” and “blue” transitions play in the cooling. We also examined the limits for the cooling process in optical lattices, and the possible difference in steady-state velocity distributions for different directions. Moreover, in collaboration with ´Ecole Normale Sup´erieure in Paris, numerical simulations were performed in order to get more insight in the cooling dynamics of optical lattices.Optical lattices can keep atoms almost perfectly isolated from the environment and have therefore been suggested as a platform for a host of possible experiments aimed at coherent quantum manipulations, such as spin-squeezing and the implementation of quantum logic-gates. We developed a novel way to trap two different cesium ground states in two distinct, interpenetrating optical lattices, and to change the distance between sites of one lattice relative to sites of the other lattice. This is a first step towards the implementation of quantum simulation schemes in optical lattices.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Date of Publication:01/01/2002