Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics Seminar

Spectroscopic Observation of Resonant Electric Dipole-Dipole Interactions Between Cold Rydberg Atoms

James Martin
Department of Physics and Institute for Quantum Computing
University of Waterloo, Ontario University of Waterloo, Ontario University of Waterloo, Ontario University of Waterloo

High-n Rydberg atoms have large electric transition dipole moments because of the vast separation of the electron and ion-core. These dipole moments dictate the strength of the electric dipole-dipole interaction between pairs of atoms. Therefore, excitation to Rydberg states allows one to turn on interactions between atoms which would otherwise be negligible. This has recently received attention in the context of quantum information processing with cold neutral atoms. Starting with cold neutral atoms in a magneto-optical trap (MOT) we have optically excited Rydberg atoms and probed their interactions using microwave and millimeter wave transitions. Using this approach, resonant electric dipole-dipole interactions between cold Rydberg atoms have been observed. Recent work exploring the motion of the Rydberg atoms, the influence of the inhomogeneous magnetic field (from the MOT), and the strong analogy between our system and solid-state NMR will be presented. Work performed in collaboration with K. Afrousheh, P. Bohlouli, Z. A. Mugford, M. Fedorov, J. Carter and O. Cherry, and supported by NSERC, CFI and OIT.

Monday, April 18, 2005
4:00 PM
Gant Science Complex
Physics Department
Room P121

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