Getting More Life Out of Rydberg Atoms By Laser Trapping

Getting More Life Out of Rydberg Atoms By Laser Trapping

First successful laser trapping of circular Rydberg atoms

Key points…

+  Rydberg atoms, which are atoms in a highly excited state, have several unique and advantageous properties, including a particularly long lifetime and large sensitivities to external fields. These properties make them valuable for a variety of applications, for instance for the development of quantum technologies.

“Our research group at LKB is one of the few worldwide that can prepare and manipulate circular Rydberg levels of atoms,” Clément Sayrin, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told “Our group has actually a long experience in working with circular Rydberg atoms, which roots back to the 1970s/1980s and the work of Serge Haroche. A significant part of our research activities is now devoted to the use of these atoms in quantum technologies.”

+  Researchers at Laboratoire Kastler Brossel (LKB) have recently achieved a longer 2-D laser trapping time of circular Rydberg atoms of up to 10 ms. The method they employed, outlined in a paper published in Physical Review Letters, could open up exciting new possibilities for the development of quantum technology.

+  The researchers essentially leveraged the fact that circular Rydberg atoms are repelled by intense light to trap the atoms. To achieve this, they produced a donut-shaped light beam, more specifically a round laser beam with a dark spot at its center, where the atoms would ultimately be trapped.

+  The recent study by Sayrin and his colleagues shows that circular Rydberg atoms can, in fact, be laser trapped and for remarkably longer timescales. So far, the researchers were able to trap these atoms for approximately 10 milliseconds, yet this trapping time could be increased further in future studies.

+  The results could have numerous important implications for the development of quantum technologies, including tools for quantum simulation, sensing, and information processing. In fact, effectively keeping circular Rydberg atoms in place while quantum systems are operating, as demonstrated in their study, means that these atoms could be used for longer times. This may ultimately boost the performance of different quantum technologies, for instance enhancing the sensitivity of sensors, increasing the simulation time of simulators, and so on.

Source:  PHYS.ORG.  Ingrid Fadelli,  First successful laser trapping of circular Rydberg atoms…

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