Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Murray J. Holland

Second Advisor

Ana Maria Rey

Third Advisor

Dana Z. Anderson


A generalized open quantum theory that models the transport properties of bosonic systems is derived from first principles. This theory is shown to correctly describe the long-time behavior of a specific class of non-Markovian system-reservoir interactions. Starting with strongly-interacting bosons in optical lattices, we use this theory to construct a novel, one-to-one analogy with electronic systems, components, and devices. Beginning with the concept of a wire, we demonstrate theoretically the ultracold boson analog of a semiconductor diode, a field-effect transistor, and a bipolar junction transistor. In a manner directly analogous to electronics, we show that it is possible to construct combinatorial logic structures from the fundamental electronic-emulating devices just described. In this sense, our proposal for atomtronic devices is a useful starting point for arrangements with more complex functionality. In addition we show that the behavior of the proposed diode should also be possible utilizing a weakly-interacting, coherent bosonic drive. After demonstrating the formal equivalence between systems comprised of bosons in optical lattices and photons in nonlinear cavity networks, we use the formalism to extend the ideas and concepts developed earlier in ultracold boson systems to nonlinear optical systems. We adapt the open quantum system theory to this new physical environment, and demonstrate theoretically how a few-photon optical diode can be realized in a coupled nonlinear cavity system. An analysis of different practical cavity quantum electrodynamics systems is presented and experimentally-viable candidates are evaluated.