4 mois (Mars 2020 - Juin 2020)

Optical manipulation of ytterbium Rydberg atoms

Axe MFC: Patrick CHEINET

A major goal of modern physics is the understanding of many-body highly-interacting systems. Cold atoms allow these
studies with a good control over the experimental parameters. So-called “Rydberg” atoms are highly excited atoms
displaying extremely large interactions [1]. So far, studies on alkali atoms are limited due to the absence of optical
transitions once the electron is promoted to a Rydberg level. Which is why we propose to use ytterbium atoms
possessing two valence electrons. The second electron will allow optical manipulation of the Rydberg atom as if it were
the ion. This technique opens new perspectives towards applications in quantum computing [2].

Our experiment has given its first results on spectroscopy [3] and new promising results for optical trapping. A new
laser to perform the rest of the spectroscopy will be available at the beginning of the internship. This internship, which
could be prolonged for a PhD, will consist in performing the additional spectroscopy on ytterbium Rydberg atoms.
On a longer term, during a PhD, we will study the limits of the new trapping technique. The internship will take
place within “Matière Froide et Corrélée” team of our laboratory.

[1] T. F. Gallagher, Rydberg atoms (Cambridge University Press 1994)
[2] Fast three-qubit Toffoli quantum gate… I. I. Beterov et al., PRA 98, 042704 (2018)
[3] Laser and microwave spectroscopy of even-parity Rydberg states… H. Lehec et al., PRA 98, 062506 (2018)

Patrick CHEINET - Contacter
Laboratoire Aimé cotton, bât 221, Campus d'ORSAY, 91405 Orsay Cedex.