Georg Raithel

Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

PhD
39.13

Publications

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    ABSTRACT: We present a spectral analysis of Rydberg atoms in strong microwave fields using electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) as an all-optical readout. The measured spectroscopic response enables optical, atom-based electric field measurements of high-power microwaves. In our experiments, microwaves are irradiated into a room-temperature rubidium vapor cell. The microwaves are tuned near the two-photon 65D-66D Rydberg transition and reach an electric field strength of 230V/m, about 20% of the microwave ionization threshold of these atoms. A Floquet treatment is used to model the Rydberg level energies and their excitation rates. We arrive at an empirical model for the field-strength distribution inside the spectroscopic cell that yields excellent overall agreement between the measured and calculated Rydberg EIT-Floquet spectra. Using spectral features in the Floquet maps we achieve an absolute strong-field measurement precision of 6%.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016
  • N. Thaicharoen · L. F. Gonçalves · G. Raithel
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    ABSTRACT: Rydberg-atom ensembles are switched from a weakly- into a strongly-interacting regime via adiabatic transformation of the atoms from an approximately non-polar into a highly dipolar quantum state. The resultant electric dipole-dipole forces are probed using a device akin to a field ion microscope. Ion imaging and pair-correlation analysis reveal the kinetics of the interacting atoms. Dumbbell-shaped pair correlation images demonstrate the anisotropy of the binary dipolar force. The dipolar $C_3$ coefficient, derived from the time dependence of the images, agrees with the value calculated from the permanent electric-dipole moment of the atoms. The results indicate many-body dynamics akin to disorder-induced heating in strongly coupled particle systems.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016
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    ABSTRACT: We study Rydberg atoms modulated by strong radio-frequency (RF) fields with a frequency of 70 MHz. The Rydberg atoms are prepared in a room temperature cesium cell, and their level structure is probed using electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). As the RF field increases from the weak- into the strong-field regime, the range of observed RF-induced phenomena progresses from AC level shifts through increasingly pronounced and numerous RF-modulation sidebands to complex state-mixing and level-crossings with high-l hydrogen-like states. Weak anharmonic admixtures in the RF field generate clearly visible modifications in the Rydberg-EIT spectra. A Floquet analysis is employed to model the Rydberg spectra, and good agreement with the experimental observations is found. Our results show that all-optical spectroscopy of Rydberg atoms in vapor cells can serve as an antenna-free, atom-based and calibration-free technique to measure and map RF electric fields and to analyze their higher-harmonic contents.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016
  • N. Thaicharoen · A. Schwarzkopf · G. Raithel
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    ABSTRACT: We study the repulsive van der Waals interaction of cold rubidium 70S1/2 Rydberg atoms by analysis of time-delayed pair-correlation functions. After excitation, Rydberg atoms are allowed to accelerate under the influence of the van der Waals force. Their positions are then measured using a single-atom imaging technique. From the average pair-correlation function of the atom positions we obtain the initial atom-pair separation and the terminal velocity, which yield the van der Waals interaction coefficient C6. The measured C6 value agrees well with calculations. The experimental method has been validated by simulations. The data hint at anisotropy in the overall expansion, caused by the shape of the excitation volume. Our measurement implies that the interacting entities are individual Rydberg atoms, not groups of atoms that coherently share a Rydberg excitation.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Physical Review A
  • K. R. Moore · G. Raithel
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    ABSTRACT: In ponderomotive spectroscopy an amplitude-modulated optical standing wave is employed to probe Rydberg-atom transitions, utilizing a ponderomotive rather than a dipole-field interaction. Here, we engage nonlinearities in the modulation to drive dipole-forbidden transitions up to the fifth order. We reach transition frequencies approaching the sub-THz regime. We also demonstrate magic-wavelength conditions, which result in symmetric spectral lines with a Fourier-limited peak at the line center. Applicability to precision measurement is discussed.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Physical Review Letters
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    ABSTRACT: We employ doubly-resonant two-photon excitation into the 74S Rydberg state to spectroscopically measure the dynamic scalar polarizability, alpha 0, and tensor polarizability, alpha 2, of rubidium 5P3/2. To reach the necessary high intensities, we employ a cavity-generated 1064 nm optical-lattice light field, allowing us to obtain intensities near 2x10^11 W/m^2. In the evaluation of the data we use a self-referencing method that renders the polarizability measurement largely free from the intensity calibration of the laser light field. We obtain experimental values alpha 0 =-1149 (pm 2.5 percent) and alpha 2 = 563 (pm 4.2 percent), in atomic units. Methods and results are supported by simulations.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Physical Review A
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    N. Thaicharoen · A. Schwarzkopf · G. Raithel
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    ABSTRACT: We study the repulsive van der Waals interaction of cold rubidium $70S_{1/2}$ Rydberg atoms by analysis of time-delayed pair correlation functions. After excitation, Rydberg atoms are allowed to accelerate under the influence of the van der Waals force. Their positions are then measured using a single-atom imaging technique. From the average pair correlation function of the atom positions we obtain the initial atom-pair separation and the terminal velocity, which yield the van der Waals interaction coefficient $C_{6}$. The measured $C_{6}$ value agrees well with calculations. The experimental method has been validated by simulations. The data hint at anisotropy in the overall expansion, caused by the shape of the excitation volume. Our measurement implies that the interacting entities are individual Rydberg atoms, not groups of atoms that coherently share a Rydberg excitation.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015
  • Kaitlin Moore · Georg Raithel
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    ABSTRACT: In ponderomotive spectroscopy an amplitude-modulated optical standing wave is employed to probe Rydberg-atom transitions, utilizing a ponderomotive rather than a dipole-field interaction. Here, we engage nonlinearities in the modulation to drive dipole-forbidden transitions up to the fifth order. We reach transition frequencies approaching the sub-THz regime. We also demonstrate magic-wavelength conditions, which result in symmetric spectral lines with a Fourier-limited feature at the line center. Applicability to precision measurement is discussed.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple adiabatic/diabatic passages through avoided crossings in the Stark map of cesium Rydberg atoms are employed as beam splitters and recombiners in an atom-interferometric measurement of energy-level splittings. We subject cold cesium atoms to laser-excitation, electric-field and detection sequences that constitute an (internal-state) atom interferometer. For the read-out of the interferometer we utilize state-dependent collisions, which selectively remove atoms of one kind from the detected signal. We investigate the dependence of the interferometric signal on timing and field parameters, and find good agreement with time-dependent quantum simulations of the interferometer. Fourier analysis of the interferometric signals yield coherence frequencies that agree with corresponding energy-level differences in calculated Stark maps. The method enables spectroscopy of states that are inaccessible to direct laser-spectroscopic observation, due to selection rules, and has applications in field metrology.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Physical Review A
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    ABSTRACT: The passage of cold cesium 49S$_{1/2}$ Rydberg atoms through an electric-field-induced multi-level avoided crossing with nearby hydrogen-like Rydberg levels is employed to prepare a cold, dipolar Rydberg atom gas. When the electric field is ramped through the avoided crossing on time scales on the order of 100~ns or slower, the 49S$_{1/2}$ population adiabatically transitions into high-\emph{l} Rydberg Stark states. The adiabatic state transformation results in a cold gas of Rydberg atoms with large electric dipole moments. After a waiting time of about $1~\mu$s and at sufficient atom density, the adiabatically transformed highly dipolar atoms become undetectable, enabling us to discern adiabatic from diabatic passage behavior through the avoided crossing. We attribute the state-selectivity to $m$-mixing collisions between the dipolar atoms. The data interpretation is supported by numerical simulations of the passage dynamics and of binary $m$-mixing collisions.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · New Journal of Physics
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    ABSTRACT: We discuss a fundamentally new approach for the measurement of electric (E) fields that will lead to the development of a broadband, direct SI-traceable, compact, self-calibrating E-field probe (sensor). This approach is based on the interaction of radio frequency (RF) fields with alkali atoms excited to Rydberg states. The RF field causes an energy splitting of the Rydberg states via the Autler-Townes effect and we detect the splitting via electromagnetically induced transparency. In effect, alkali atoms placed in a vapor cell act like an RF-to-optical transducer, converting an RF E-field strength measurement to an optical frequency measurement. We demonstrate the broadband nature of this approach by showing that one small vapor cell can be used to measure E-field strengths over a wide range of frequencies: 1 GHz to 500 GHz. The technique is validated by comparing experimental data to both numerical simulations and far-field calculations for various frequencies. We also discuss various applications, including: a direct traceable measurement, the ability to measure both weak and strong field strengths, compact form factors of the probe, and sub-wavelength imaging and field mapping.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation
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    ABSTRACT: We present a significantly new approach for an electric (E) field probe design. The probe is based on the interaction of RF-fields with Rydberg atoms, where alkali atoms are excited optically to Rydberg states and the applied RF-field alters the resonant state of the atoms. For this probe, the Rydberg atoms are excited in a glass vapor cell. The Rydberg atoms act like an RF-to-optical transducer, converting an RF E-field to an optical-frequency response. The probe utilizes the concept of Electromagnetically Induced Transparency (EIT). The RF transition in the four-level atomic system causes a split of the EIT transmission spectrum for the probe laser. This splitting is easily measured and is directly proportional to the applied RF field amplitude. Therefore, by measuring this splitting we get a direct measurement of the RF E-field strength. The significant dipole response of Rydberg atoms over the GHz regime enables this technique to make traceable measurements over a large frequency band including 1-500 GHz. We will show that, with one probe, measurements can be made over a very large frequency range. This is a truly broadband probe/sensor. In this paper, we report on our results in the development of this probe.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014
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    ABSTRACT: We study the effects of Rydberg-atom interactions on Autler-Townes (AT) spectra in a dense gas of ultracold cesium atoms. The 6S(1/2) and 6P(3/2) levels of cesium are strongly coupled (Rabi frequency Omega(c)), and the resultant AT spectra are probed via excitation into a Rydberg level. Van der Waals interactions between the atoms in the probe Rydberg level give rise to a dephasing rate (gamma(3)). The interaction-induced dephasing is found to cause characteristic changes in the AT spectra, including a reduction or elimination of the AT splitting, an increase in the critical Omega(c) above which AT splitting occurs, and an increase in the width of the AT spectral lines. Rydberg-atom interactions are controlled by varying the principal quantum number n of the probe Rydberg level; larger values of n correspond to higher dephasing rates gamma(3). Results of numerical calculations are in good agreement with the experiments.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Physical Review A
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate two-photon Autler-Townes splitting and strong-field effects of Rb-85 Rydberg atoms in a room-temperature vapor cell. To observe the level structure we employ electromagnetically induced transparency. We first study the two-photon 62S(1/2)-63S(1/2) microwave transition using an electric-field reference measurement obtained with the one-photon 62S(1/2)-62P(3/2) transition. We then study the 61D(5/2)-62D(5/2) transition where the microwave electric-field range is extended up to similar to 40 V/m. A Floquet analysis is used to model field-induced level shifts and state-mixing effects present in the strongly driven quantum systems under consideration. Calculations are found to be in good agreement with experimental observations.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Physical Review A
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    Kaitlin R. Moore · Sarah E. Anderson · Georg Raithel
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    ABSTRACT: Spectroscopy is an essential tool in understanding and manipulating quantum systems, such as atoms and molecules. The model describing spectroscopy includes a multipole-field interaction, which leads to established spectroscopic selection rules, and an interaction that is quadratic in the field, which is often neglected. However, spectroscopy using the quadratic (ponderomotive) interaction promises two significant advantages over spectroscopy using the multipole-field interaction: flexible transition rules and vastly improved spatial addressability of the quantum system. For the first time, we demonstrate ponderomotive spectroscopy by using optical-lattice-trapped Rydberg atoms, pulsating the lattice light at a microwave frequency, and driving a microwave atomic transition that would otherwise be forbidden by established spectroscopic selection rules. This new ability to measure frequencies of previously inaccessible transitions makes possible improved determinations of atomic characteristics and constants underlying physics. In the spatial domain, the resolution of ponderomotive spectroscopy is orders of magnitude better than the transition frequency (and the corresponding diffraction limit) would suggest, promising single-site addressability in a dense particle array for quantum control and computing applications. Future advances in technology may allow ponderomotive spectroscopy to be extended to ground-state atoms and trapped molecules.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Nature Communications
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    ABSTRACT: We study angular-momentum couplings in $^{87}$Rb$_2$ Rydberg molecules formed between Rydberg and 5S$_{1/2}$ ground-state atoms. We use a Fermi model that includes S-wave and P-wave singlet and triplet scattering of the Rydberg electron with the 5S$_{1/2}$ atom, along with the fine structure coupling of the Rydberg atom and hyperfine structure coupling of the 5S$_{1/2}$ atom. We discuss the effects of these couplings on the adiabatic molecular potentials. We obtain bound-state energies, lifetimes, and electric and magnetic dipole moments for the vibrational ground states of the $^{87}$Rb$(n$D$+5$S$_{1/2})$ molecules in all adiabatic potentials, with fine and hyperfine structure included. We also study the effect of the hyperfine structure on the deep $^3$S-wave- and $^3$P-wave-dominated adiabatic molecular potentials, which support high-$\ell$ $^{87}$Rb$_2$ Rydberg molecules.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Physical Review A
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    ABSTRACT: We present a technique for measuring radio-frequency (RF) electric field strengths with sub-wavelength resolution. We use Rydberg states of rubidium atoms to probe the RF field. The RF field causes an energy splitting of the Rydberg states via the Autler-Townes effect, and we detect the splitting via electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). We use this technique to measure the electric field distribution inside a glass cylinder with applied RF fields at 17.04 GHz and 104.77 GHz. We achieve a spatial resolution of ≈100 μm, limited by the widths of the laser beams utilized for the EIT spectroscopy. We numerically simulate the fields in the glass cylinder and find good agreement with the measured fields. Our results suggest that this technique could be applied to image fields on a small spatial scale over a large range of frequencies, up into the sub-terahertz regime.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Applied Physics Letters
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we demonstrate the detection of millimeter waves via Autler-Townes splitting in 85Rb Rydberg atoms. This method may provide an independent, atom-based, SI-traceable method for measuring mm-wave electric fields, which addresses a gap in current calibration techniques in the mm-wave regime. The electric- field amplitude within a rubidium vapor cell in the WR-10 waveguide band is measured for frequencies of 93 GHz, and 104 GHz. Relevant aspects of Autler-Townes splitting originating from a four-level electromagnetically induced transparency scheme are discussed. We measure the E-field generated by an open-ended waveguide using this technique. Experimental results are compared to a full-wave finite element simulation.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Applied Physics Letters
  • Yun-Jhih Chen · Stefan Zigo · Georg Raithel
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    ABSTRACT: We use a near-concentric optical cavity at 1064 nm to generate trapping potentials for cold atoms. The cavity exhibits nondegenerate Hermite-Gaussian modes. Using just a few-milliwatt trap laser power, the cavity readily generates one-and higher-dimensional optical traps that replicate the mode functions. We spectroscopically characterize the optical trapping potentials and laser-cooling limits under continuous loading conditions. We use absorption images to measure atom densities and to compare the spatial profiles of trapped-atom samples with calculated mode functions. Steady-state fluorescence images reveal bright radiation emerging from the ends of the elongated, cavity-trapped atom clouds, providing evidence for radiation guiding.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Physical Review A
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We discuss a fundamentally new approach for the measurement of electric (E) fields that will lead to the development of a broadband, direct SI-traceable, compact, self-calibrating E-field probe (sensor). This approach is based on the interaction of radio frequency (RF) fields with alkali atoms excited to Rydberg states. The RF field causes an energy splitting of the Rydberg states via the Autler-Townes effect and we detect the splitting via electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). In effect, alkali atoms placed in a vapor cell act like an RF-to-optical transducer, converting an RF E-field strength measurement to an optical frequency measurement. We demonstrate the broadband nature of this approach by showing that one small vapor cell can be used to measure E-field strengths over a wide range of frequencies: 1 GHz to 500 GHz. The technique is validated by comparing experimental data to both numerical simulations and far-field calculations for various frequencies. We also discuss various applications, including: a direct traceable measurement, the ability to measure both weak and strong field strengths, compact form factors of the probe, and sub-wavelength imaging and field mapping.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014

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