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Atomic Physics Seminars History

ics Atomic
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
11:00 AM
Physics Building, Room 204
John Close [Host: Cass Sackett]
Australian National University
"Cold atom gravimetry with atom interferometry: advances in technology at ANU and progress towards applications."
ABSTRACT:

I will discuss the cold atom gravimetry program at ANU. I will talk about our program in field deployed devices in broad terms and programs we are pursuing in squeezing and advanced detection methods.. I will also discuss our program to model and design fit for purpose cold atom gravimeters and accelerometers  for a variety of applications in Earth science, mineral exploration, hydrology and inertial navigation.

 

ics Atomic
Monday, April 29, 2019
11:30 AM
Physics Building, Room 313
Zhe Luo [Host: Cass Sackett]
University of Virginia - Physics
"Simulations and Designs of Atom Chip Apparatus for BEC Interferometry"
ABSTRACT:

A Sagnac interferometer using Bose-Einstein condensates for rotation sensing is implemented in a harmonic trapping magnetic potential. The trapped cold atom cloud is manipulated by standing wave laser beams to produce two reciprocal interferometers. They provide common-mode rejection of accelerations, trap fluctuations and other noise sources while the Sagnac phase is differential between two interferometers. An image processing program is being developed to quickly extract positions and sizes of atom packets from their trajectories. Besides, a new atom chip is designed and constructed based on double layer spiral copper wires with different chirality. A supporting chamber for testing the atom chip is also designed and used to adjust trapping frequencies and allow laser beams coming through. The ultimate goal is to realize a compact and portable microchip-based atom gyroscope for rotation sensing and inertial navigation.

ics Atomic
Monday, April 29, 2019
3:00 PM
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Building, Room 346
Yuan Liang
University of Virginia - Physics
"A variational approach for phase transition in interacting electron-phonon system"
ABSTRACT:

We employ a variational approach by optimizing the free energy of an anharmonic Hamiltonian with respect to strain tensor, interatomic coordinates and force constants in an interacting electron-phonon system. The goal is to predict possible phase transitions in crystal structures at finite temperatures. The variational method is based on Bogoliubov inequality to get an approximation to the Helmholtz free energy in a lattice with anharmonic potential energy terms. A harmonic trial Hamiltonian is used for the minimization. The optimization will give the set of equations corresponding to atomic displacements, lattice strain, IFCs and other order parameters, leading to phonon frequencies at each k-point for every temperature. The reliability of the approach is then checked in 1D/3D cases, comparing to available computational/experimental results and by applying DFT method to compute free energies of various phases at different temperatures.

ics Atomic
Monday, April 29, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Chun-Hung Chang [Host: Olivier Pfister]
University of Virginia
"Beyond the Large-Scale Cluster-State Entanglement in the Quantum Optical Frequency Comb – the feasible way from 60 accessible qumodes to thousands"
ABSTRACT:

In this talk, I will first give a short introduction about classical computers and quantum computers. I will also introduce cluster states, which are served as the calculating bases of one-way quantum computing. On top of that, I will talk about how we build the cluster states in our lab. Previously, our lab measured 60 qumodes which are simultaneously accessible, but we believe we should have far more than 60. I will explain why we thought we should have thousands accessible qumodes, what hinders us to get more than 60 qumodes, and a feasible way to overcome the difficulties. 

ics Atomic
Monday, April 22, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Chengxing He [Host: Bob Jones]
University of Virginia - Physics
"Decoherence in quantum systems: Measurement and control"
ABSTRACT:

Quantum systems are fragile. Inhomogeneities in a sample’s environment can destroy its macroscopic coherence properties, while the coupling of components of a system to unmeasured/uncontrolled environmental degrees of freedom leads to microscopic decoherence. In this talk, I will discuss examples of my work related to macroscopic and microscopic coherence in cold atom ensembles, as well as possible approaches to preserving coherence. In addition, I will discuss a study of topological effects in atomic systems.

ics Atomic
Monday, April 15, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
David Keder [Host: Gordon Cates]
University of Virginia - Physics
"Advances in Polarized Nuclear Imaging"
ABSTRACT:

Polarized Nuclear Imaging (PNI) is a novel modality in which images of certain radioactive tracers are formed using conventional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) techniques by detecting asymmetries in gamma ray emission rates with respect to the nuclear magnetic moments of the tracer.  This modality combines the spatial resolution and contrast provided by MRI with the detection sensitivity of nuclear imaging, allowing for the production of an image using many orders of magnitude fewer nuclei than would be necessary with conventional MRI.  However, many challenges remain in bringing PNI from the laboratory to practice in a clinical setting.  For example, the first PNI image produced took 60 hours to acquire.  In my talk I will describe some novel techniques in currently in development intended to bridge the gap between laboratory and clinic.

ics Atomic
Monday, April 1, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Seth Berl [Host: Cass Sackett]
University of Virginia - Physics
"Measuring Core Polarizability of Rubidium-87 using RF Spectroscopy of Rydberg States"
ABSTRACT:

The core electrons make a significant contribution to the total electric polarizability a of many-electron atoms like Rb. If the core contribution can be determined accurately, the remaining valence contribution to a provides constraints on the wave function and matrix elements of the valence electron. This can be useful for interpreting experiments such as parity violation or radiation shifts in atomic clocks. We report here on a measurement of the core polarizability based on radio-frequency spectroscopy of Rydberg states with large angular momentum. Preliminary results are 9.07 ± 0.01 a.u. for the dipole polarizability ad and 18.3 ± 0.5 a.u. for the quadrupole polarizability aq. These preliminary results are consistent with previous measurements, and uncertainties are reduced by approximately a factor of 4. The dipole polarizability is consistent with high-precision theoretical calculations, but a large discrepancy between theory and experiment persists for the quadrupole value.

ics Atomic
Monday, March 4, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Ariel Sommer [Host: Peter Schauss]
Lehigh University
"Spin Transport in Fermi Gases Across the Superfluid Transition"
ABSTRACT:

Transport properties provide an important tool to characterize many-body systems. In particular, measurements of spin transport in strongly interacting Fermi gases can help to resolve the debate regarding the existence of a pseudogap--a pairing gap above the superfluid critical temperature--in the unitary Fermi gas. Studies of universal bounds on transport coefficients further motivate interest in spin transport in the unitary Fermi gas, which is expected to exhibit timescales approaching the "Planckian" limit set by the temperature, Boltzmann constant, and Planck's constant. I will describe proposed experiments to measure the spin transport coefficients in Fermi gases at low temperatures that can address these questions. Our experimental approach utilizes a homogeneous Fermi gas separated into three regions: a sample and two reservoirs. Non-equilibrium initial conditions in the reservoirs will drive a spin current through the sample, enabling measurements of the spin diffusivity. Our experimental approach can be extended to measurements of heat transport and non-equilibrium states. 

ics Atomic
Monday, February 18, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Eddie Moan [Host: Cass Sackett]
University of Virginia - Physics
"A large-area Sagnac interferometer using atoms in a time-orbiting potential"
ABSTRACT:

We describe the implementation of a dual Sagnac interferometer using a Bose-Einstein condensate confined in a harmonic time-orbiting potential magnetic trap, which is sensitive to rotations on the order of Earth’s rate.  Atoms are manipulated using Bragg laser beams to produce two reciprocal interferometers, providing common-mode rejection of accelerations, trap fluctuations, and other noise sources. The Sagnac rotation phase is differential between the two interferometers. The orbit of the atoms is nearly circular, with an effective Sagnac area of about 0.5 mm^2.  This technique has potential applications in terrestrial and space-based inertial navigation systems, which currently use more unstable and less rotation-sensitive optical gyroscopes.

ics Atomic
Monday, January 28, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Elizabeth Goldschmidt [Host: Peter Schauss]
US Army Research Laboratory
"Rare-earth atoms in solids as a platform for quantum networks "
ABSTRACT:

I will give an overview of the emerging field of rare-earth atoms in solids as the basis for a variety of quantum information applications. These systems have a number of advantageous properties including long inherent coherence times, lack of motional dephasing or substantial spectral diffusion, and high density, that make them promising systems for important quantum information tasks, such as long-lived, efficient photonic quantum memory. A major challenge associated with most atom-like quantum emitters in solids, rare-earth atoms included, is the inhomogeneous broadening of the optical transition energy caused by site-to-site variation in the local environment. I will discuss initial experimental results on the effect of this broadening on electromagnetically induced transparency in a europium doped sample. Finally I will present our plans and ongoing work to mitigate the effects of inhomogeneity by investigating a new class of materials.

ics Atomic
Monday, January 21, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Ali Azarm [Host: Bob Jones]
University of Arizona
"Ultrafast intense laser interaction with molecules and nanostructures"
ABSTRACT:

Strong laser field interaction with materials is rich in physics and chemistry, and gives rise to variety of spectacular phenomena ranging from multiphoton/tunneling ionization to high harmonics generation. In this talk, I will present three of these intriguing phenomena that I have investigated.

First, I will explain neutral dissociation of hydrogen molecule in strong laser field through multiphoton super-excitation. I will demonstrate the experimental results of fragmentation of hydrogen molecules in a strong laser field including observation of Balmer lines from hydrogen atoms and measuring the upper limit of the lifetime of the super-excited states by an ultrafast pump and probe experiment [1].

The second part of the talk is dedicated to optical gain and population inversion in ions at 428 nm wavelength through high-resolution spectroscopy. I will clarify how sufficient dissimilarity of rotational distributions in the upper and lower emission levels could lead to gain without net electronic or vibronic population inversion [2].

Finally, at the third part of the talk, I will show the results of use of femtosecond laser pulses to melt indium semi-spherical nanostructure (r~175 nm) and shape them by high spatial frequency laser induced periodic surface structures into linear microstructures of 2 μm long in the direction of laser polarization. The understanding of the modification process, melting and moving in the nano-grating structured field, pave the way to design nanostructures of arbitrary shapes at the sub-wavelength scale [3].

[1] A. Azarm, D. Song, K. Liu et al. J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 44 (2011) 085601

[2] A. Azarm, P. Corkum, P. Polynkin, Phys. Rev. A Rapid Comm. 96 (2017) 051401(R)

[3] A. Azarm, F. Akhoundi, R. A. Norwood et al. Appl. Phys. Lett. 113 (2018) 033103

ics Atomic
Monday, January 7, 2019
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Dr. Gabriel Bie Alves [Host: Olivier Pfister]
Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil
"Conditions for optical parametric oscillation with a structured light pump"
ABSTRACT:

We investigate the transverse mode structure of the down-converted beams generated by a type-II optical parametric oscillator (OPO) driven by a structured pump. Our analysis focus on the selection rules imposed by the spatial overlap between the transverse modes of the three fields involved in the non-linear interaction. These rules imply a hierarchy of oscillation thresholds that determine the possible transverse modes generated by the OPO, as remarkably confirmed with experimental results.

ics Atomic
Monday, November 26, 2018
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 313
Stanimir Kondov [Host: Peter Schauss]
Colombia University
"Precision Measurement and Quantum Chemistry with Ultracold 88Sr2 Molecules"
ABSTRACT:

At Tanya Zelevinsky’s lab at Columbia, our current effort focuses on characterizing the strontium molecule with the goal to develop an ultra-precise molecular clock---similar to better-known atomic optical clocks---with unique sensitivity to the fundamental constants of nature such as the gravitational constant G and the electron-to-proton mass ratio. Through precision measurements, one may investigate fundamental problems that are otherwise studied in high-energy (accelerator) research and astrophysical observations.

The implementation of a molecular clock relies on detailed knowledge of the Sr2 molecule. Studies of photodissociation, combined with spectroscopic data, have helped develop a state-of-the-art quantum chemistry model. The predictive value of the model is tested against experimental photodissociation data with remarkable complexity. The model faithfully reproduces the photofragment distributions and helps illuminate a quantum-to-classical crossover in dissociation dynamics.

We have demonstrated the operation of a molecular clock by coherently transferring molecules from a shallow bound state to near the bottom of the molecular potential. Using a magic wavelength technique, we have improved transition quality by 3.5 orders of magnitude, projecting a clock accuracy better than 10-14.

ics Atomic
Monday, October 29, 2018
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 313
Seth Aubin [Host: Cass Sackett]
William & Mary
"Spin-specific AC Zeeman potentials"
ABSTRACT:

Spin-specific trapping and mechanical control of ultracold atoms is difficult with current techniques, but offers the possibility of exploring new physics systems, notably spin-dependent trapped atom interferometers, as well as quantum gates, 1D many-body spin gases, and novel cooling schemes. Microwave near-field potentials based on the AC Zeeman effect provide a mechanism for such spin-specific control of atoms: in principle, independent potentials can be targeted to different spin states simultaneously. We present recent experimental progress in implementing such control by using AC near-fields on an atom chip to drive hyperfine transitions and manipulate ultracold rubidium atoms.

ics Atomic
Friday, May 25, 2018
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 313
Aaron Calvin [Host: Bob Jones]
Georgia Tech
"Spectroscopy of sympathetically cooled CaH+ in Coulomb crystals"
ABSTRACT:

CaH+ is an astrophysically relevant molecule with proposed applications in fundamental physics. We use CaH+ co-trapped with Doppler cooled Ca+ to perform spectroscopy using two-photon photodissociation with a frequency doubled, mode locked Ti:sapph laser. This method was used to measure the vibronic spectrum of the 11 Σ, v = 0  21 Σ, v' = 0, 1, 2, 3 transitions. Spectroscopy on the deuterated isotopologue, CaD+ confirmed a revised assignment of the CaH+ vibronic levels and a disagreement with MS-CASPT2 theoretical calculations by approximately 700 cm-1. Updated high-level coupled-cluster calculations that include core-valence correlations reduce the disagreement between theory and experiment to 300 cm-1.  The broad bandwidth of the pulsed Ti:sapph provided an advantage for the initial search for transitions, but did not allow spectral resolution of rotational transitions. Pulse shaping was applied to spectrally narrow the linewidth of the pulsed laser to obtain rotational constants for the 21 Σ, v' = 0, 1, 2, 3 and 11 Σ, v = 0 states. This measurement has value in the control of quantum states of the molecule for high precision measurements of rovibrational transitions using quantum logic. Molecule-cold atom collisions for possible buffer gas cooling can also be tested using this method.

ics Atomic
Monday, May 14, 2018
11:00 AM
Physics Building, Room 313
Rajveer Nehra [Host: Olivier Pfister]
UVA-Department of Physics
"Quantum state preparation and characterization using photon-number-resolving measurements"
ABSTRACT:

Quantum state preparation and characterization are essential to emerging near-term quantum technological applications. In particular, single-photon Fock states are of interest as their exciting applications in linear optical quantum computing, quantum internet, quantum communication, quantum sensing, and quantum imaging.

In this work we prepare a single-photon Fock state by heralding two-mode spontaneous parametric down conversion in a PPKTP based optical parametric oscillator (OPO). We then reconstruct the Wigner quasi-probability distribution by Photon-Number-Resolving (PNR) based quantum state tomography. This method circumvents the need for numerical tomographic reconstruction of the state by inverse Radon transform with the balanced homodyne detection method. We perform PNR measurements using transition edge sensor which can resolve up to five photons at 1064 nm. Here we report our recent results of reconstructed negative Wigner function with a final detection efficiency of 56 %.

Towards the end of my talk, I will discuss a method known as Fock state filtering to generate non-classical states using single-photon states, linear optics and PNR resolving measurements.

ics Atomic
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Edward Moan [Host: Cass Sackett]
UVA-Department of Physics
"A trapped-atom enclosed-area interferometer using reciprocal circular trajectories"
ABSTRACT:

We describe progress towards a rotation sensor using ultracold atoms.  A Bose-Einstein condensate is loaded into weak cylindrically symmetric harmonic trap.  The condensate is split and recombined using off-resonant Bragg laser pulses.  After the clouds are split, they oscillate in the trap.  By analyzing the trajectories of the clouds we can optimize the trap such that the frequency is equal along different axes.  Next, we split the condensate twice, creating four clouds that traverse a circular path around the trap center.  After completing an integer number of orbits the clouds can be recombined, forming two reciprocal interferometers whose phase difference is sensitive to rotations but rejects other common-mode noise sources.  We have observed closed circular trajectories with a diameter of 0.6 mm, corresponding to a Sagnac phase of 1500 seconds times the rotation rate, or about 0.1 rad for an Earth-rate rotation.

ics Atomic
Monday, April 2, 2018
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Sanjay Khatri [Host: Bob Jones]
UVA-Department of Physics
"THz enhanced Surface Second Harmonic Generation"
ABSTRACT:

When a material is exposed to an intense laser field, the absence of inversion symmetry at the surface can result in the formation  of a non-linear surface polarization and surface second harmonic (SSH) emission. We find that the SSH yield from a metal can be dramatically influenced by the presence of an additional THz field. In the experiments, collinear 100fs 780nm laser and 2ps single-cycle THz beams are focused at grazing incidence along a gold surface. The SSH yield is measured as a function of the THz intensity, relative laser-THz delay, and laser/THz polarizations relative to the surface normal. The yield from an optically flat gold mirror increases by as much as a factor of three in the presence of a 20kV/cm THz eld. Interestingly, the SSH enhancement for the same THz field is as large as a factor of 27 if the gold mirror is replaced by a gold-coated diffraction grating, apparently due to either a local THz field enhancement or increased sensitivity of the non-linear polarization to the THz field near grating micro-structures. We are exploring the use of THz-enhanced SSH emission to characterize the THz-field enhancement and/or response of micro-structured metal surfaces with other geometries.

ics Atomic
Monday, February 26, 2018
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Erling Riis [Host: Cass Sackett]
University of Strathclyde
"Clocks and interferometers with cold atoms"
ABSTRACT:

The use of cold atoms has led to a substantial increase in the accuracy achievable in many atomic physics measurements. This has most notably been demonstrated in the atomic clock relying on the interference of internal states of weakly interacting atoms in free fall. However, it has also led to an additional layer of experimental complexity which, combined with the physical size of state-of-the-art setups, impose significant limitations on wider practical applications. Progress will be reported on the development of a compact atomic clock based on cold atoms. 

Unprecedented precision has also been demonstrated in atom interferometers relying on the  detection of differential phase shifts between atomic wavefunctions of e.g. different motional states. Sensitivity to external interactions results in a shift of the atomic phase relative to a lab-frame reference, typically the spatial phase of an optical standing wave. This is a limitation to practical measurements as it requires long temporal stability and has motivated the investigation of an atom interferomenter inherently insensitive to the phase noise of the readout system. This relies on an atomic homodyne detection allowing the entire interferometric signal to be read out in a single shot.

ics Atomic
Monday, January 29, 2018
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Zack Carson [Host: Olivier Pfister]
UVA - Department of Physics
"Leveraging qumode scalability: increased squeezing and entanglement from redistributed multitudinous-mode squeezing"
ABSTRACT:

Quantum computing harnesses purely non-classical features of quantum physics to perform computations that would be otherwise infeasible on a traditional (classical) computer. Highly squeezed states are a crucial resource for many quantum technologies, primarily fault tolerant quantum computing. As with any quantum resource, squeezing is very fragile and arduous to generate experimentally. Because of this, the 20.5 dB squeezing level germane to the fault tolerance threshold (for an error rate of 0.00001) of continuous variable (CV) quantum computing has yet to be obtained, despite recent progress. I propose an experimental method designed to breach this threshold by unitarily redistributing multitudinous-mode squeezing into a highly squeezed single qumode (the CV analog of a qubit, or quantum bit). This new paradigm utilizes multi-mode states as a squeezing resource, by effectively transferring small levels of squeezing per qumode over N modes into a single qumode with N-times the squeezing.

Atomic Physics Seminars
Peter Schauss (Chair)

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