Nanofiber control of ultracold quantum gases

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Hennessy, Tara
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University College Cork
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While a great amount of attention is being given to the development of nanodevices, both through academic research and private industry, the field is still on the verge. Progress hinges upon the development of tools and components that can precisely control the interaction between light and matter, and that can be efficiently integrated into nano-devices. Nanofibers are one of the most promising candidates for such purposes. However, in order to fully exploit their potential, a more intimate knowledge of how nanofibers interact with single neutral atoms must be gained. As we learn more about the properties of nanofiber modes, and the way they interface with atoms, and as the technology develops that allows them to be prepared with more precisely known properties, they become more and more adaptable and effective. The work presented in this thesis touches on many topics, which is testament to the broad range of applications and high degree of promise that nanofibers hold. For immediate use, we need to fully grasp how they can be best implemented as sensors, filters, detectors, and switches in existing nano-technologies. Areas of interest also include how they might be best exploited for probing atom-surface interactions, single-atom detection and single photon generation. Nanofiber research is also motivated by their potential integration into fundamental cold atom quantum experiments, and the role they can play there. Combining nanofibers with existing optical and quantum technologies is a powerful strategy for advancing areas like quantum computation, quantum information processing, and quantum communication. In this thesis I present a variety of theoretical work, which explores a range of the applications listed above. The first work presented concerns the use of the evanescent fields around a nanofiber to manipulate an existing trapping geometry and therefore influence the centre-of-mass dynamics of the atom. The second work presented explores interesting trapping geometries that can be achieved in the vicinity of a fiber in which just four modes are allowed to propagate. In a third study I explore the use of a nanofiber as a detector of small numbers of photons by calculating the rate of emission into the fiber modes when the fiber is moved along next to a regularly separated array of atoms. Also included are some results from a work in progress, where I consider the scattered field that appears along the nanofiber axis when a small number of atoms trapped along that axis are illuminated orthogonally; some interesting preliminary results are outlined. Finally, in contrast with the rest of the thesis, I consider some interesting physics that can be done in one of the trapping geometries that can be created around the fiber, here I explore the ground states of a phase separated two-component superfluid Bose-Einstein condensate trapped in a toroidal potential.
Physics , Theory , Cold Atoms , Nanofibers , Quantum mechanics
Hennessy, T. 2016. Nanofiber control of ultracold quantum gases. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.