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Durham e-Theses
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First observations of Rydberg blockade in a frozen gas of divalent atoms

BODDY, DANIELLE (2014) First observations of Rydberg blockade in a frozen gas of divalent atoms. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis details the first measurements of Rydberg dipole blockade in a cold ensemble of divalent atoms. Strontium atoms are cooled and trapped in a magneto-optical trap and coherently excited to Rydberg states in a two-photon, three-level ladder scheme. Owing to the divalent nature of strontium, one electron can be excited to the Rydberg state, whilst the other lower-lying electron is available to undergo resonant optical excitation to autoionising states, which ionise in sub-nanosecond timescales. The remaining ions that are recorded on a micro-channel plate are proportional to the number of Rydberg atoms.

The development of a narrow linewidth laser system necessary for an additional stage of cooling is explained and characterised. Two frequency stabilisation schemes are discussed: one to address the short-term laser frequency instabilities based on the Pound-Drever-Hall technique; the other to address the long-term laser frequency instabilities based on Lamb-dip spectroscopy in an atomic beam. The cooling dynamics on the narrow cooling transition is studied experimentally and modelled via theoretical simulations.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:"Strontium" "Rydberg" "dipole" "blockade" "narrow" "linewidth" "689" "red MOT"
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Physics, Department of
Thesis Date:2014
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:21 Aug 2014 16:34

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