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- Nonequilibrium dynamics and relative phase evolution of two-component Bose-Einstein condensates
- Anderson, Russell
- In the years following the first Bose-Einstein condensation of dilute atomic gases in 1995, several experiments demonstrated many fundamental properties of two-component BEC. Subsequent to these pioneering experiments, almost a decade passed with little experimental activity, relative to investigations of single-component condensates. In somewhat of a renaissance, the initial observations of two-component BEC have been revisited in recent years, consolidating and clarifying results of the early works, and illuminating new and surprising behaviour of these rich quantum fluids. This thesis presents new experimental results on the relative phase evolution of two-component Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs). We approach our study of this system from the dual perspective of binary superfluidity and trapped atom interferometry. We observe nonequilibrium dynamics of the condensate that are deeply connected to the physics of interpenetrating superfluids. These dynamics have consequences for interferometers whose two paths are different internal spin states of the condensate atoms. Using trapped condensates for precision measurement draws upon the benefits of confined atom interferometry - long interrogation times, precise position control to measure near-field potentials - in addition to the unique coherence properties of BECs. Precision measurementwith trapped particles, however, is obstructed by the inherent inhomogeneities associated with the confinement itself. Spatial variation of the external potentials and atomic density can give rise to dephasing during the free evolution and imperfect splitting and recombination of the interferometric paths. In this thesis, we consider the dephasing of the two-componentmean field order parameter, which tends to diminish the interference signal attained with the condensate. The promise of fuhs for atom interferometry lies within using nonclassical many body states to reduce the fundamental noise limit imposed upon measuring the projection of atomic pseudospin. Before the many body quantum properties of two-component condensates can be used to their full potential, the ideal classical limit must be achieved and investigated. As in optical interferometry, the classical ideality of an interference measurement is contingent upon control of the spatialmodes - thematter wave fields, or single particle wave functions. Whilst much attention is currently focused on preparing nonclassical many body states for entanglement and squeezing of the condensate pseudospin, this thesis focuses on the ancillary yet important issue of spatial inhomogeneity of the condensate mean field. Reversal of the spatially inhomogeneous mean field evolution is demonstrated, employing the techniques of nuclear magnetic resonance. A new method is demonstrated to probe pseudospin -1/2 condensates involving microwave adiabatic passage. The technique permits simultaneous, spatially resolved absorption imaging of the spatial mode of each component. Controlled manipulation of the components into Zeeman states with different magnetic moments allows spatial separation using a Stern-Gerlach separation technique, providing a spatially resolved projection of the local condensate pseudospin from a single absorption image. We propose an interferometric technique which employs this imaging method to directly image the relative phase. The miscibility of the two components depends on the relative magnitude of the interactions between various collision partners. The boundary of this miscibility is found to be less pronounced than expected from the commonly applied results of homogeneous super-fluids.The effects of kinetic energy are shown to be significant at the threshold of miscibility, leading to a breakdown in the Thomas-Fermi approximation. Magnetic dipole transitions amongst alkali ground states are often used to prepare, manipulate, and interrogate pseudospin -1/2 condensates. We present a thorough investigation of the two-photonmagnetic dipole transitions between the |F = 1,mF = -1〉 and |F = 2,mF = +1〉 states, and the |F = 1,mF = +1〉 and |F = 2,mF = -1〉 states of 87Rb. Taking into account all 8 Zeeman levels of the electronic ground state reveals markedly different radiative shifts and effects beyond the rotating wave approximation, compared to the three-level formalism commonly used for these transitions.This has implications for Ramsey interferometry using the two-photon magnetic dipole transitions. The unchartered experimental territory offered by two-component condensates is vast, and future directions, supplementary to the work in this thesis, are elucidated.
- Publication type
- Thesis (PhD)
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences. Centre for Atom Optics and Ultrafast Spectroscopy
- Publication year
- Australasian Digital Theses collection
- Copyright © 2010 Russell Paul Anderson.