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Quantum technologies

Dieter Meschede's research group
Home Group members Nicolas Spethmann
Group members
Dr. Nicolas Spethmann
Last position
in our group:
PhD student
Field of research
in our group:

Publications(up to 2012)

  • N. Spethmann
    Single impurity atoms immersed in an ultracold gas, (2012), PhD thesisBibTeXPDF
    In this thesis, experiments with an ultracold gas doped with few and single atoms of another species are presented. The techniques to adequately prepare and manipulate an ultracold Rb gas and to dope it with a precisely known number of few Cs atoms are introduced. These techniques allow the time-resolved observation of the sympathetic cooling of initially laser-cooled, cold impurity atoms into the ultracold temperature regime of the Rb buffer gas. During the cooling, the confinement of the impurity atom is enhanced to a reduced volume inside the buffer gas, which increases the interspecies collision rate. By analyzing the cooling process, the interspecies scattering cross section is estimated. The lifetime of the resulting hybrid system is limited by three-body recombination of the impurity atom with atoms of the buffer gas. The atomic resolution of the impurity atom number allows the determination of the lifetime atom-by-atom. Additional information is gained from the precisely known fluctuations of the number of lost impurity atoms. This information is exploited to assign the three-body losses unambiguously to a single loss channel. The interaction of an impurity atom in a quantum-mechanical superposition state with the buffer gas is of special interest for future experiments. First experiments into this direction are presented at the end of the thesis.
  • N. Spethmann, F. Kindermann, S. John, C. Weber, D. Meschede and A. Widera
    Dynamics of single neutral impurity atoms immersed in an ultracold gas, Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 235301 (2012)arXivBibTeXPDF
    We report on controlled doping of an ultracold Rb gas with single neutral Cs impurity atoms. Elastic two-body collisions lead to a rapid thermalization of the impurity inside the Rb gas, representing the first realization of an ultracold gas doped with a precisely known number of impurity atoms interacting via s-wave collisions. Inelastic interactions are restricted to a single three-body recombination channel in a highly controlled and pure setting, which allows to determine the Rb-Rb-Cs three-body loss rate with unprecedented precision. Our results pave the way for a coherently interacting hybrid system of individually controllable impurities in a quantum many-body system.
  • N. Spethmann, F. Kindermann, S. John, C. Weber, D. Meschede and A. Widera
    Inserting single Cs atoms into an ultracold Rb gas, Appl. Phys. B 106, 513 (2012)arXivBibTeXPDF
    We report on the controlled insertion of individual Cs atoms into an ultracold Rb gas at ≈400 nK. This requires one to combine the techniques necessary for cooling, trapping and manipulating single laser cooled atoms around the Doppler temperature with an experiment to produce ultracold degenerate quantum gases. In our approach, both systems are prepared in separated traps and then combined. Our results pave the way for coherent interaction between a quantum gas and a single or few neutral atoms of another species.
  • C. Weber, S. John, N. Spethmann, D. Meschede and A. Widera
    Single Cs Atoms as Collisional Probes in a large Rb Magneto-Optical Trap, Phys. Rev. A 82, 042722 (2010)arXivBibTeXPDF
    We study cold interspecies collisions of cesium and rubidium in a strongly imbalanced system with single and few Cs atoms. Observation of the single-atom fluorescence dynamics yields insight into light-induced loss mechanisms, while both subsystems can remain in steady state. This significantly simplifies the analysis of the dynamics, as Cs-Cs collisions are effectively absent and the majority component remains unaffected, allowing us to extract a precise value of the Rb-Cs collision parameter. Extending our results to ground-state collisions would allow to use single neutral atoms as coherent probes for larger quantum systems.