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Laser trapping of cold circular Rydberg atoms for quantum simulation

Abstract : We propose a new paradigm for quantum simulation of spin-1/2 arrays, providing unprecedented flexibility and allowing one to explore domains that remain unexplored, based on laser-trapped circular Rydberg atoms. The long intrinsic atomic lifetimes, combined with the inhibition of their microwave spontaneous emission and their negligible photoionisation, make operation in the minute range realistic. The proposed simulator realizes an XXZ spin-1/2 Hamiltonian, with nearest-neighbour couplings ranging from a few to tens of kilohertz. All the model parameters can be dynamically tuned at will, making a large range of simulations accessible. Thus, the system evolution can be followed long enough to be relevant for ground-state adiabatic preparation and for the study of thermalization and disorder. In this thesis, as a first step towards the implementation of this quantum simulation scheme, we (i) demonstrate the preparation of cold circular Rydberg states in a 4,2 K cryogenic environment with optical access out of a cold atom cloud. Their lifetime reveals an effective microwave black-body temperature of 11±2 K. We (ii) assess the single qubit coherence time (268±5 μs) and lifetime (3,7±0,1 ms), and, finally, we (iii) demonstrate the laser trapping of circular Rydberg atoms to prove their negligible photoionisation at the timescale of 10 ms.
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Contributor : Rodrigo Cortiñas <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 10:13:32 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 3:01:26 PM


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Rodrigo Gastón Cortiñas. Laser trapping of cold circular Rydberg atoms for quantum simulation. Quantum Physics [quant-ph]. École Normale Supérieure (Paris); Paris Sciences et Lettres, 2020. English. ⟨tel-02903456⟩



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