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Quantum technologies

Dieter Meschede's research group
Home Group members Leonid Förster
Group members
Leonid Förster
Last position
in our group:
PhD student
Field of research
in our group:
Few-atom quantum systems

Publications(up to 2013)

  • N. Belmechri, L. Förster, W. Alt, A. Widera, D. Meschede and A. Alberti
    Microwave control of atomic motional states in a spin-dependent optical lattice, J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 46, 104006 (2013)arXivBibTeXPDF
    Spin-dependent optical potentials allow us to use microwave radiation to manipulate the motional state of trapped neutral atoms (Förster et al. 2009 Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 233001). Here, we discuss this method in greater detail, comparing it to the widely-employed Raman sideband coupling method. We provide a simplified model for sideband cooling in a spin-dependent potential, and we discuss it in terms of the generalized Lamb-Dicke parameter. Using a master equation formalism, we present a quantitative analysis of the cooling performance for our experiment, which can be generalized to other experimental settings. We additionally use microwave sideband transitions to engineer motional Fock states and coherent states, and we devise a technique for measuring the population distribution of the prepared states.
  • M. Karski, L. Förster, J. Choi, W. Alt, A. Alberti, A. Widera and D. Meschede
    Direct Observation and Analysis of Spin-Dependent Transport of Single Atoms in a 1D Optical Lattice, J. Korean Phys. Soc. 59, 2947 (2011)arXivBibTeXPDF
    We have directly observed spin-dependent transport of single cesium atoms in a 1D optical lattice. A superposition of two circularly polarized standing waves is generated from two counter propagating, linearly polarized laser beams. Rotation of one of the polarizations by $\pi$ causes displacement of the $\sigma^{+}$- and $\sigma^{-}$-lattices by one lattice site. Unidirectional transport over several lattice sites is achieved by rotating the polarization back and forth and flipping the spin after each transport step. We have analyzed the transport efficiency over 10 and more lattice sites, and discussed and quantified relevant error sources.
  • M. Karski, L. Förster, J. Choi, A. Steffen, N. Belmechri, W. Alt, D. Meschede and A. Widera
    Imprinting Patterns of Neutral Atoms in an Optical Lattice using Magnetic Resonance Techniques, New J. Phys. 12, 065027 (2010)arXivBibTeXPDF
    We prepare arbitrary patterns of neutral atoms in a one-dimensional (1D) optical lattice with single-site precision using microwave radiation in a magnetic field gradient. We give a detailed account of the current limitations and propose methods to overcome them. Our results have direct relevance for addressing planes, strings or single atoms in higher-dimensional optical lattices for quantum information processing or quantum simulations with standard methods in current experiments. Furthermore, our findings pave the way for arbitrary single-qubit control with single-site resolution.
  • L. Förster
    Microwave control of atomic motion in a spin dependent optical lattice, (2010), PhD thesisBibTeXPDF
    In this thesis I present my results concerning the coherent control of the quantized motional state of trapped neutral Cesium atoms. This is accomplished using microwave radiation in combination with a spin dependent potential con ning the atoms. I present both cooling of atoms close to the motional ground state and the preparation of nonclassical motional states. In total, our apparatus is thus capable to control the spin, the position along the periodic potential and the vibrational state of the atoms. In chapter 1 I give an overview of the experimental apparatus. Our setup is designed to trap and to store on the order of ten atoms in a one dimensional optical lattice. Fluorescence imaging in conjunction with a microscope lens system is used to determine both the number and the position of the atoms. The spin degree of freedom is manipulated using microwave radiation and the trapping potential allows to shift the atoms to the 'left' or to the 'right' along the potential axis, depending on their spin orientation. In chapter 2 I discuss the coupling mechanism between the spin and the motional degree of freedom. A microwave spectrum with a slightly displaced lattice exhibits sideband peaks corresponding to a change of the vibrational quantum number. For the full quantitative understanding I compare the experimental results with a theoretical model, which is also used to quantify possible decoherence mechanisms. Based on this investigations, in chapter 3 I present the results for our ground state cooling scheme, whereby the focuss lies on the peculiarities of our system. A model based on master equations is used to analyze the present cooling limits. In chapter 4, nally, two detection schemes for arbitrary motional states of an atomic ensemble are presented. In particular, they are employed to verify the preparation of nonclassical states.
  • M. Karski, L. Förster, J. Choi, W. Alt, A. Widera and D. Meschede
    Nearest-Neighbor Detection of Atoms in a 1D Optical Lattice by Fluorescence Imaging, Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 053001 (2009)arXivBibTeXPDF
    We overcome the diffraction limit in fluorescence imaging of neutral atoms in a sparsely filled one-dimensional optical lattice. At a periodicity of 433 nm, we reliably infer the separation of two atoms down to nearest neighbors. We observe light induced losses of atoms occupying the same lattice site, while for atoms in adjacent lattice sites, no losses due to light induced interactions occur. Our method points towards characterization of correlated quantum states in optical lattice systems with filling factors of up to one atom per lattice site.
  • L. Förster, M. Karski, J. Choi, A. Steffen, W. Alt, D. Meschede, A. Widera, E. Montano, J. H. Lee, W. Rakreungdet and P. S. Jessen
    Microwave Control of Atomic Motion in Optical Lattices, Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 233001 (2009)arXivBibTeXPDF
    We control the quantum mechanical motion of neutral atoms in an optical lattice by driving microwave transitions between spin states whose trapping potentials are spatially offset. Control of this offset with nanometer precision allows for adjustment of the coupling strength between different motional states, analogous to an adjustable effective Lamb-Dicke factor. This is used both for efficient one-dimensional sideband cooling of individual atoms to a vibrational ground state population of 97% and to drive coherent Rabi oscillation between arbitrary pairs of vibrational states. We further show that microwaves can drive well resolved transitions between motional states in maximally offset, shallow lattices, and thus in principle allow for coherent control of long-range quantum transport.
  • M. Karski, L. Förster, J. Choi, A. Steffen, W. Alt, D. Meschede and A. Widera
    Quantum Walk in Position Space with Single Optically Trapped Atoms, Science 325, 174 (2009)arXivBibTeX
    The quantum walk is the quantum analog of the well-known random walk, which forms the basis for models and applications in many realms of science. Its properties are markedly different from the classical counterpart and might lead to extensive applications in quantum information science. In our experiment, we implemented a quantum walk on the line with single neutral atoms by deterministically delocalizing them over the sites of a one-dimensional spin-dependent optical lattice. With the use of site-resolved fluorescence imaging, the final wave function is characterized by local quantum state tomography, and its spatial coherence is demonstrated. Our system allows the observation of the quantum-to-classical transition and paves the way for applications, such as quantum cellular automata.
  • Y. Miroshnychenko, W. Alt, I. Dotsenko, L. Förster, M. Khudaverdyan, D. Meschede, D. Schrader and A. Rauschenbeutel
    An atom-sorting machine, Nature 442, 151 (2006)BibTeX
    Laser cooling and trapping techniques allow us to control and manipulate neutral atoms. Here we rearrange, with submicrometre precision, the positions and ordering of laser-trapped atoms within strings by manipulating individual atoms with optical tweezers. Strings of equidistant atoms created in this way could serve as a scalable memory for quantum information.
  • Y. Miroshnychenko, W. Alt, I. Dotsenko, L. Förster, M. Khudaverdyan, A. Rauschenbeutel and D. Meschede
    Precision preparation of strings of trapped neutral atoms, New J. Phys. 8, 191 (2006)arXivBibTeXPDF
    We have recently demonstrated the creation of regular strings of neutral caesium atoms in a standing wave optical dipole trap using optical tweezers [Y. Miroshnychenko et al., Nature, in press (2006)]. The rearrangement is realized atom-by-atom, extracting an atom and re-inserting it at the desired position with sub-micrometer resolution. We describe our experimental setup and present detailed measurements as well as simple analytical models for the resolution of the extraction process, for the precision of the insertion, and for heating processes. We compare two different methods of insertion, one of which permits the placement of two atoms into one optical micropotential. The theoretical models largely explain our experimental results and allow us to identify the main limiting factors for the precision and efficiency of the manipulations. Strategies for future improvements are discussed.
  • L. Förster, W. Alt, I. Dotsenko, M. Khudaverdyan, D. Meschede, Y. Miroshnychenko, S. Reick and A. Rauschenbeutel
    Number-triggered loading and collisional redistribution of neutral atoms in a standing wave dipole trap, New J. Phys. 8, 259 (2006)BibTeXPDF
    We implement a technique for loading a preset number of up to 19 atoms from a magneto-optical trap into a standing wave optical dipole trap. The efficiency of our technique is characterized by measuring the atom number before and after the loading process. Our analysis reveals details of the trap dynamics that are usually masked when working with larger atomic ensembles. In particular, we identify a low-loss collisional blockade mechanism. It forces the atoms to redistribute in the periodic potential until they are all stored in individual trapping sites, thereby strongly reducing site occupation number fluctuations.
  • Y. Miroshnychenko, W. Alt, I. Dotsenko, L. Förster, M. Khudaverdyan, D. Meschede, S. Reick and A. Rauschenbeutel
    Inserting two atoms into a single optical micropotential, Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 243003 (2006)arXivBibTeXPDF
    We recently demonstrated that strings of trapped atoms inside a standing wave optical dipole trap can be rearranged using optical tweezers [Y. Miroshnychenko et al., Nature, in press (2006)]. This technique allows us to actively set the interatomic separations on the scale of the individual trapping potential wells. Here, we use such a distance-control operation to insert two atoms into the same potential well. The detected success rate of this manipulation is 16(+4/-3) %, in agreement with the predictions of a theoretical model based on our independently determined experimental parameters.
  • L. Förster
    Sortierung von einzelnen neutralen Atomen mit zwei gekreuzten Dipolfallen, (2005), Diplom thesisBibTeXPDF
  • M. Khudaverdyan, W. Alt, I. Dotsenko, L. Förster, S. Kuhr, D. Meschede, Y. Miroshnychenko, D. Schrader and A. Rauschenbeutel
    Adiabatic Quantum State Manipulation of Single Trapped Atoms, Phys. Rev. A 71, 031404 (2005)arXivBibTeXPDF
    We use microwave induced adiabatic passages for selective spin flips within a string of optically trapped individual neutral Cs atoms. We position-dependently shift the atomic transition frequency with a magnetic field gradient. To flip the spin of a selected atom, we optically measure its position and sweep the microwave frequency across its respective resonance frequency. We analyze the addressing resolution and the experimental robustness of this scheme. Furthermore, we show that adiabatic spin flips can also be induced with a fixed microwave frequency by deterministically transporting the atoms across the position of resonance.