An Optical DipoleTrap in Microgravity
|Other Titles:||Eine optische Dipolfalle in Schwerelosigkeit||Authors:||Vogt, Christian||Supervisor:||Lämmerzahl, Claus||1. Expert:||Lämmerzahl, Claus||2. Expert:||Rasel, Ernst||Abstract:||
Optical interferometers are well known for their high precession in several measurement situations. They are based on a readout of phase differences between optical path length. In contrast, atom interferometers rely on the De Broglie wavelength of atoms and their corresponding phase. A cloud of atoms is split and recombined with light pulses, while in between, the atoms are moving freely. These precise quantum tools will enhance a broad variety of measurements, ranging from large scale phenomena like gravitational wave detection to short scale Casimir-Polder forces and everything in between. The sensitivity of atom interferometers scales with the time squared between light pulses, which is generally limited by gravity and temperature. One technical challenging sollution is the realization of atom interferometers in microgravity. While ultra cold atoms can be prepared in optical and magnetic traps, under weightlessness their preparation is limited to magnetic traps until now. These experiments are based on atom chips with highly asymmetric trapping potentials. The improved symmetry of optical traps can improve the most advanced cooling technique, called delta kick collimation, leading to atomic clouds in the yet unreached femtokelvin range. This thesis is about the first realization of an optical trapping potential in microgravity. It describes the experimental setup, identifies a molasseses technique as the optimal process for dipole trap loading and investigates the further cooling process under the influence and in the absence of gravity. In optical and magnetic traps, the preparation of ultracold atoms is based on evaporation. However, the underlying physics to drive this process are fundamentally different and for optical traps, evaporation is driven by gravity. It is demonstrated that evaporation from an optical potential performs approximately equal with and without gravity, due to a strong mixing of the trapping potentials in all three spatial dimensions. These findings are confirmed with computational simulations, based on the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo method. Atomic ensembles of rubidium-87 with temperatures as low as a 300 nK were generated in the microgravity environment of the drop tower in Bremen with an evaporation time as short as 0.5 s. The final confining trap was too shallow to be reproduced in a laboratory environment. The findings of this thesis will possibly guide the way to improved atom interferometers, with countless applications in precise sensing. Furthermore, optical potentials in microgravity on their own will open up a broad field of fundamental physical experiments. One example is the applicability of magnetic Feshbach resonances. Allowing almost arbitrary tuning of the interatomic scattering length offers new insights in scattering processes or miscibility scenarios.
|Keywords:||cold atoms, dipole trap, microgravity, weightlessness, atom interferometry, PRIMUS, evaporative cooling, dimension of evaporation||Issue Date:||26-Apr-2019||URN:||urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-00107445-13||Institution:||Universität Bremen||Faculty:||FB1 Physik/Elektrotechnik|
|Appears in Collections:||Dissertationen|
checked on Sep 29, 2020
checked on Sep 29, 2020
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