Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Ana Maria Rey

Second Advisor

Murray J. Holland

Third Advisor

Victor Gurarie

Fourth Advisor

James K. Thompson

Fifth Advisor

Juan G. Restrepo


Ultracold atomic and molecular systems provide a useful platform for understanding quantum many-body physics. Recent progresses in AMO experiments enable access to systems exhibiting long-range interactions, opening a window for exploring the interplay between long-range interactions and dissipation. In this thesis, I develop theoretical approaches to study non-equilibrium dynamics in systems where such interplay is crucial.

I first focus on a system of KRb molecules, where dipolar interactions and fast chemical reactions coexist. Using a classical kinetic theory and Monte Carlo methods, I study the evaporative cooling in a quasi-two-dimensional trap, and develop a protocol to reach quantum degeneracy. I also study the case where molecules are loaded into an optical lattice, and show that the strong dissipation induces a quantum Zeno effect, which suppresses the molecule loss. The analysis requires including multiple bands to explain recent experimental measurements, and can be used to determine the molecular filling fraction.

I also investigate a system of radiating atoms, which experience long-range elastic and dissipative interactions. I explore the collective behavior of atoms and the role of atomic motion. The model is validated by comparison with a recent light scattering experiment using Sr atoms. I also show that incoherently pumped dipoles can undergo a dynamical phase transition to synchronization, and study its signature in the quantum regime.