17 Décembre – Thesis defense - Romain Veyron

13 h30 Amphi - Institut d'Optique d'Aquitaine (Talence)

Subwavelength imaging of optically dense atomic clouds in a quantum gaz microscope.

Cold atoms are a quantum system well-isolated from the environment. Since the 80s, they have been used to make high-sensitivity atomic sensors and to deepen the understanding of quantum physics phenomena. At low temperatures, degenerate atomic gas regimes can be reached. They are characterized by a macroscopic quantum state that can be manipulated and controlled by lasers. Placing such atomic wave function in optical lattices provide a way to study the dynamics of complex many-body systems. In this context, diffraction-limited quantum gas microscopes have emerged as standard tools to probe such complex systems and to measure atomic density correlations between lattice sites. By further reducing the optical lattices dimensions, the energy scales are strongly enhanced and favor novel quantum phases. Such reduction of optical lattice dimensions requires novel trapping and imaging techniques to manipulate cold-atoms with subwavelength spatial resolutions.
In this PhD thesis, we experimentally perform subwavelength imaging of ultra-cold atoms of Rubidium 87 using a dressed excited state method, initially proposed for generating subwavelength trapping potentials. The measurement are performed using in situ absorption imaging. A quantitative comparison of data and theory lead us to reinterprete and modify a method for atom number calibrations that is commonly used in the community. This reinterpretation requires a fine understanding of the interaction of a single quantum multi-level system and a coherent saturating field. The measurement of the in situ transmission of a coherent probe shows a linear reduction of the single-atom scattering cross-section with the optical density for which we propose a physical interpretation and a model. Once calibrated, we use our subwavelength imaging method that reaches down to 20 nm resolution in a few microseconds to super-resolve a tiny quantum object : the longitudinal wave function of a BEC in a very tight lattice.

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