Ground State Properties and Applications of Dipolar Ultracold Gases
Committee ChairMeystre, Pierre
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis thesis contains a study of ultracold paramagnetic atoms or polar molecules characterized by a long-range anisotropic dipolar interaction. We particularly focus on two aspects of ultracold dipolar gases. In the first problem the ground state properties of dipolar Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC) are investigated. This problem has gained importance due to recent experimental advances in achieving a condensate of Chromium atoms and ongoing research to produce quantum degenerate polar molecules. In the second problem, we consider possible applications of ultracold polar molecules to rotation sensing and interferometry. First, we concentrate on the interplay between the trapping geometry and dipole-dipole interaction for a polarized dipolar bosonic condensate. As the dipole-dipole interaction is attractive along the polarized direction, the lowest energy state of the BEC is always a collapsed state. However by applying a trapping potential along the polarization direction it is possible to achieve a metastable dipolar BEC. By numerically solving the Gross-Pitaevskii equation, we show that below a critical interaction strength, a metastable state exists depending on the trapping geometry. We also show that a novel feature of dipolar BEC is the appearance of different structural metastable ground states for certain combinations of trapping geometry and particle number. Next, by mixing in single component fermions we show that dipolar BEC can be stabilized against collapse in pancake shaped or cylindrical traps. We also show that the excitation spectrum of the BEC may have a minimum for non-zero momentum, termed a “roton minimum”. This minimum leads to a transition to stable or metastable density-wave states depending on the density of the bosons and boson-fermion interaction strength. In the second problem, we study a proposal for a large-angle coherent beam splitter for polar molecules. By taking into account the effect of a quasi-static external electric field on the rotational levels of the polarized molecules we show that it is possible to coherently split a stationary cloud of molecules into two counter-propagating components. We then investigate the effect of longitudinal acceleration on the transverse motion of the particles, assuming that the longitudinal motion of the molecules can be approximated classically by a wave packet with some mean velocity while the transverse motion is governed by quantum mechanics. We propose a particular time-dependent shape of acceleration to minimize the excitations in the transverse motion. Our theory is also applicable to the general case of particles moving along a circular guide with time-dependent longitudinal velocity. In addition, we include the effects of velocity fluctuations due to noise in the accelerating field.