Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Dana Z. Anderson

Second Advisor

James K. Thompson

Third Advisor

Eric Cornell

Fourth Advisor

Murray Holland

Fifth Advisor

Mark Ablowitz

Abstract

The work in this thesis falls into two broad categories: creating Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) in compact and portable systems, and manipulating neutral atoms in small systems to facilitate a continuously running neutral Rydberg atom quantum computer. The work with BECs focused on the miniaturization of ultracold matter systems. Ultracold matter has potential uses in many practical applications, such as atomic clocks, inertial sensors, and electric and magnetic field sensing. Much of the potential of atom chip based systems relies on the ability for the system to make its way out of the lab. The BEC system created occupies a volume of 0.4m^3 and operates at a repetition rate as high as 0.3Hz, creating Rubidium BECs of around 20k atoms. The system contains all of the components needed to produce and image BECs, including the UHV system, lasers, data acquisition hardware, electronics, and imaging equipment. The system can be easily reconfigured for different applications simply by changing the atom chip. As such, the hope is that it can serve as a standardized platform for a variety of portable experiments that utilize ultracold matter. The quantum computing work focuses on the ongoing work in atom manipulation for neutral Rydberg atom quantum computing. Neutral Rydberg atom quantum computing has great potential and, by harnessing the tool kit developed working with cold atoms, has the potential of scalability and continuous operation. An entirely new laser system and vacuum cell was built to work with Cesium. We have currently built a state of the art vacuum cell and developed far-detuned optical trapping and transport techniques to facilitate continuous quantum computing. Ongoing efforts include optical lattice generation and single-atom manipulation and imaging.

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