Measurement of the van der Waals interaction between two Rydberg atoms

Lucas Beguin 1
1 Laboratoire Charles Fabry / Optique Quantique
LCF - Laboratoire Charles Fabry
Abstract : Neutral atoms are promising candidates for the realization of entangled states involving up to a few tens of particles. To generate such states, one approach consists in using the dipole blockade mechanism, which results from the strong dipole-dipole interactions between Rydberg atoms.Following this approach, this thesis describes the design and the characterization of an experimental apparatus allowing to manipulate single 87Rb atoms trapped in microscopic optical tweezers, and to excite them towards Rydberg states. A stable electrostatic environment and controlled electrodes enable the fine manipulation of these states. Using two optical tweezers separated by a few microns, we demonstrate the Rydberg blockade between two single atoms, and we observe their collective excitation.Finally, by operating in the partial blockade regime, we develop a method allowing to measure the van der Waals interaction ∆E = C6 /R6 between two atoms separated by a controlled distance R. The C6 coefficients obtained for various Rydberg states agree well with ab initio theoretical calculations, and we observe the dramatic increase of the interaction with the principal quantum number n of the Rydberg state.
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Lucas Beguin. Measurement of the van der Waals interaction between two Rydberg atoms. Other [cond-mat.other]. Institut d’Optique Graduate School, 2013. English. ⟨NNT : 2013IOTA0004⟩. ⟨pastel-00936072⟩

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