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Semi-classical and quantum Monte Carlo simulations in optical lattices

Winklbauer, Stephen Peter; (2004) Semi-classical and quantum Monte Carlo simulations in optical lattices. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis gives an account of work done on semi-classical and quantum Monte Carlo simulations in far-detuned optical lattices. Firstly, the basic principles of laser cooling of atoms are presented including a short introduction to optical lattices in the near and far-detuned regime. A detailed analysis is made of the band-structure of optical lattices, using the Bloch formalism, and of the bound-state population distribution appropriate for a thermal sample of trapped atoms. Secondly, a general overview is given of the quantum Monte Carlo method for simulating the dynamics of atom-light interactions. This is followed by a detailed study of the concept of Raman cooling, which is a useful tool to prepare atoms in the ground motional state of the lattice and an important first step to achieving quantum state control with ultra-cold atoms. A simplified model of Raman cooling is introduced and simulated using the quantum Monte Carlo wave-function approach. Then the implementation of simulations of resolved-sideband Raman cooling based on this model is discussed as is how the results were used to optimize the experimental work done by our group. The results of these simulations show for the first time that the quantum Zeno effect has a crucial impact on the efficiency of Raman cooling experiments. Also the experimental measurements of the temperature of Raman sideband cooled atoms for a range of parameters are compared with theoretical results and shows a good qualitative agreement. Thirdly, the results of semi-classical numerical simulations of parametric excitation in optical lattices are presented. It is shown that the modulation of the potential can result in selective parametric excitation of trapped atoms. The theoretical results show good qualitative agreement with experiment. The thesis is concluded with a description of possible avenues for future studies on quantum state control in optical lattices.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Semi-classical and quantum Monte Carlo simulations in optical lattices
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Pure sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10098043
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