Experimental and Numerical Investigations of Ultra-Cold Atoms

University dissertation from Umeå : Fysik

Abstract: I have been one of the main responsible for building a new laboratory for Bose-Einstein condensation with 87Rb. In particular, the experimental setup has been designed for performing experiments with Bose-Einstein condensates load into optical lattices of variable geometries.All parts essential for Bose-Einstein condensation are in place. Atoms are collected in a magneto-optical trap, transferred to another vacuum chamber, with better vacuum, and trapped in another magneto-optical trap. Atoms are successfully transferred to a dark magnetic trap, and system for diagnostics with absorption imaging has been realized. We have not yet been able to form a Bose-Einstein condensate, due to a range of technical difficulties.Equipment for alignment of optical lattices with flexible geometry has been designed, built, and tested. This tool has been proven to work as desired, and there is a great potential for a range of unique experiments with Bose-Einstein condensates in optical lattices of various geometries, including superlattices and quasi-periodic lattices.Numerical studies have been made on anisotropic optical lattices, and the existence of a transition between a 2D superfluid phase and a 1D Mott-insulating phase has been confirmed. We have shown that the transition is of Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless type. In another numerical study it has been shown that using stimulated Raman transitions is a practical method for transferring atoms between states in a double optical lattice. Thus, it will be possible to transfer populations between the lattices, with further applications in qubit read/write operations.