Committee ChairMeystre, Pierre
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation contains a study of ultracold atoms in optical cavities. We particularly focus on two aspects of the coupled atom-cavity systems. In the first aspect, we implement the quantum nature of the light field to probe the quantum state of the atoms. This is interesting due to the nondestructive nature of the characterization of many-body atomic states. In the second aspect we study the cavity optomechanics that investigates the coupling of mechanical and optical degrees of freedom via radiation pressure. The optomechanical cavity provides an interesting nonlinear system to study the coupling between atoms and the intracavity field.In the context of cavity quantum electrodynamics we study the reflection of two counter-propagating modes of the light field in a high-Q ring cavity by ultracold atoms either in the Mott insulator state or in the superfluid state of an optical lattice. We find that the dynamics of the reflected light strongly depends on both the lattice spacing and the state of the matter-wave field. By using the Monte Carlo wave-function method to account for the cavity damping we also determine the two-time correlation function and the time-dependent physical spectrum of theretroreflected field. We find that the light field and the atoms become entangled if the latter are in a superfluid state. We also analyze quantitatively the entanglement between the atoms and the light.In cavity optomechanics the mechanical effect can either comes from a vibrating macroscopic oscillator or a collective density excitation of a Bose-Einstein condensate. First we use a Fabry-Perot-type cavity to study the opto-mechanically-induced bistable quantum phase transitions between superfluid and a Mott insulator states of an ultracold bosonic gases trapped inside the cavity. Secondly, we study the symmetricand antisymmetric collective density side modes of the BEC which results from the optomechanical effects of the light fields in a ring cavity.