Sep 21, 2017 4:00 pm - Nielsen Hall 170 - Colloquium
Jim Shaffer - OU
Rydberg Atom Quantum Hybrid Systems

We report on our recent experimental and theoretical work with Rydberg atom hybrid quantum systems. We will discuss two different systems. In the first system, we use an atom-cavity system to explore strong atom-field light-matter interactions with an atom-cavity setup, while, in a second system, we use atom-surface interactions. To realize the atom-cavity system, Rubidium contained in a dipole trap is transported into a high-finesse (~28000) optical cavity using a focus-tunable lens. Cavity assisted Rydberg electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) is observed in the cavity transmission and used to characterize the electric fields in the cavity. The electric fields are attributed to surface adsorbates adhering to the cavity mirrors. The lower bound of the coherence time of our system is determined to be 7.26 ± 0.06 μs. For the Rydberg atom – surface work, we investigate the coupling of a Rydberg atom ensemble to surface phonon polaritons (SPhPs) propagating on piezoelectric superlattices made from thin film ferroelectric materials. Strong coupling between the atomic and surface excitation can be achieved due to the large Rydberg transition dipole moments and the local field enhancement of the SPhP modes. Both of these systems can be used to understand signal transduction at the quantum level, are useful for quantum devices, and can be used to understand wave function engineering.