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Dynamics in Cold Atomic Gases: Resonant Behaviour of the Quantum Delta-Kicked Accelerator and Bose-Einstein Condensates in Ring Traps

HALKYARD, PAUL,LEE (2010) Dynamics in Cold Atomic Gases: Resonant Behaviour of the Quantum Delta-Kicked Accelerator and Bose-Einstein Condensates in Ring Traps. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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In this thesis, the dynamics of cold, trapped atomic gases are investigated, and the prospects for exploiting their nonlinear dynamics for inertial sensing are discussed.

In the first part, the resonant and antiresonant dynamics of the atom-optical quantum delta-kicked accelerator with an initial symmetric momentum distribution are considered. The system is modelled as an ideal, non-interacting atomic gas, with a temperature-dependence governed by the width of the initial momentum distribution. The existence of resonant and antiresonant behaviour is established, and analytic expressions describing the dynamics of momentum moments of the time-evolved momentum distribution are derived. In particular, the momentum moment dynamics in both the resonant and antiresonant regimes depend strongly on the width of the initial momentum distribution. The resonant dynamics of all even-ordered momentum moments are shown to exhibit a power-law growth with an exponent given by the order of the moment in the zero-temperature regime, whereas for a broad, thermal initial momentum distribution the exponent is reduced by one. The cross-over in the intermediate regime is also examined, and a characteristic time is determined up to which the system exhibits dynamics associated with the zero-temperature regime. A similar analysis is made for the temperature-dependence of the antiresonant dynamics. This general behaviour is demonstrated explicitly by considering a Maxwell-Boltzmann and uniform momentum distribution, allowing exact expressions describing the dynamics of the second- and fourth-order momentum moments, and momentum cumulants, to be obtained. The relevance of these results to the potential of using this system in accurate determinations of the local gravitational acceleration is discussed.

In the second part, the dynamics of one- and two-component Bose-Einstein Condensates prepared in a counter-rotating superposition of flows in a quasi-1D toroidal trap are studied. Particular attention is paid to the dynamical stability of the initial state in the presence of atom-atom interactions, included via a mean-field description within the Gross-Pitaevskii equation. A broad regime of dynamical stability using a two-component BEC is identified, in which a typical implementation using Rb-87 is predicted to lie. A proof-of-principle Sagnac atom-interferometer using a two-component Rb-87 BEC is then presented, and the accumulation of the Sagnac phase is shown to be possible via relative population measurement or, alternatively, through the continuous monitoring the precession of atomic density fringes. In contrast to conventional Sagnac interferometers, the accumulation of the Sagnac phase is independent of the enclosed area of the interferometer. The prospects of using this system for high-precision determinations of rotation is discussed.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Quantum Chaos, BEC, Sagnac
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Physics, Department of
Thesis Date:2010
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:06 Dec 2010 15:17

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