Spontaneous decoherence in large Rydberg systems

Eric Magnan 1
1 Laboratoire Charles Fabry / Optique Quantique
LCF - Laboratoire Charles Fabry
Abstract : Quantum simulation consists in engineering well-controlled artificial systems that are ruled by the idealized models proposed by the theorists. Such toy models can be produced with individual atoms, where laser beams control individual atomic states and interatomic interactions. In particular, exciting atoms into a highly excited state (called a Rydberg state) allows to control individual atoms and taylor interatomic interactions with light. In this thesis, we investigate experimentally two different types of Rydberg-based quantum simulators and identify some possible limitations.At the Joint Quantum Institute, we observe the decoherence of an ensemble of up to 40000 Rydberg atoms arranged in a cubic geometry. Starting from the atoms prepared in a well-defined Rydberg state, we show that the spontaneous apparition of population in nearby Rydberg states leads to an avalanche process. We identify the origin of the mechanism as stimulated emission induced by black-body radiation followed by a diffusion induced by the resonant dipole-dipole interaction. We describe our observations with a steady-state mean-field analysis. We then study the dynamics of the phenomenon and measure its typical timescales. Since decoherence is overall negative for quantum simulation, we propose several solutions to mitigate the effect. Among them, we discuss the possibility to work at cryogenic temperatures, thus suppressing the black-body induced avalanche.In the experiment at Laboratoire Charles Fabry (Institut d'Optique), we analyze the limitation of a quantum simulator based on 2 and 3 dimensional arrays of up to 70 atoms trapped in optical tweezers and excited to Rydberg states. The current system is limited by the lifetime of the atomic structure. We show that working at cryogenic temperatures could allow to increase the size of the system up to N=300 atoms. In this context, we start a new experiment based on a 4K cryostat. We present the early stage of the new apparatus and some study concerning the optomechanical components to be placed inside the cryostat.
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Eric Magnan. Spontaneous decoherence in large Rydberg systems. Optics [physics.optics]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLO008⟩. ⟨tel-02084130⟩

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