Special Physics Seminar: Tuesday, March 12 -- Superradiance, enhanced cooling, and microscopic control with narrow-line transitions in strontium

Event Date: 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 2:30pm

Event Location: 

  • Elings 1605
  • Special Physics Seminar

Alkaline earth atoms like strontium have a rich internal structure, including optical transitions with narrow and ultranarrow linewidths.  This enables a wealth of possibilities for precision metrology and quantum science.  In this talk, I will present experimental studies of three research directions enabled by these transitions. 
I will present the first studies of superradiant emission from the 1 millihertz linewidth optical clock transition in an ensemble of strontium atoms confined within an optical cavity.  This system holds promise as a new form of high-precision active optical frequency reference with the potential to operate outside of carefully controlled laboratory environments, and exhibits interesting interactions between atoms mediated by optical photons.   
Next, I will describe a new form of laser cooling based on narrow-linewidth optical transitions that has reduced reliance on spontaneous emission compared to traditional Doppler cooling.  This feature may make it suitable for the cooling of molecules, for which spontaneous emission presents significant challenges. 
Finally, I will discuss recently demonstrated microscopic control of individual strontium atoms confined within optical tweezers.  By combining the potential for flexible, low-entropy state preparation and high-fidelity, single-particle state readout associated with optical tweezers with the rich internal structure of strontium, this platform has promising applications for quantum simulation and metrology.

Matt Norcia, CU Boulder