Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Dana Z. Anderson

Second Advisor

Murray J. Holland

Third Advisor

Eric A. Cornell

Fourth Advisor

James K. Thompson

Fifth Advisor

Kelvin H. Wagner

Abstract

Research in the field of atomtronics aims to develop a new paradigm for the use of ultracold atomic systems in a manner that mimics the functionality of electronic circuits and devices. Given the ubiquity of the electronic transistor and its application to a vast array of signal processing tasks, the development of its atomtronic counterpart is of significant interest. This dissertation presents the experimental studies of two atomtronic circuit elements: a battery and transistor. Experiments are conducted in an atom-chip-based apparatus utilizing hybrid magnetic and optical trapping techniques that enable one to "pattern" atomtronic circuit elements. An atomtronic battery is realized in a double-well trapping potential in which a finite-temperature Bose-Einstein condensate is prepared in a non-equilibrium state to generate thermodynamic gradients that drive atom current flow. Powered by the atomtronic battery, a triple-well atomtronic transistor is demonstrated, and quasi-steady-state behavior of the device is characterized. Results are found to be in agreement with a semiclassical model of the transistor that is also used to study the active properties of the device, including current gain. Based on these results, future directions regarding signal processing operations are proposed.

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