Planned research - Properties of Coherently Prepared Media (Ultra-cold media)

Positions to be opened: 1 postdoc, 2 PhD students

In magneto-optical and optical traps, in which gases are cooled well below 1 mK, atomic motion is significantly slowed down. It practically eliminates atomic collisions, substantially reduces decoherence and allows creation of robust CPM.
In research conducted proir to the project at the Department of Photonics of the Institute of Physics of the Jagiellonian University we have developed methods of laser cooling, controlling, and diagnosing atomic samples. As an extension to that research we will be able to study new magneto-optic properties of ultra-cold atoms. In these studies it is planned to use magnetic fields for controlling quantum coherences and to verify applicability of ultra-cold matter for designing novel sensors. These quantum technology aspects include tailoring of magneto-optical nonlinearity (nonlinear Faraday rotation) by well controlled quantum coherences of the atomic magnetic sublevels. Experimentally, this will require upgrading of the available apparatus to allow on/off switching of several lasers and magnetic fields. Further, the elaborated detection techniques need to be implemented and applied for magnetic field measurements.

This task will require involvement of one PhD student.

Working on this subject we will benefit from the experience of the Heraklion group (guided by I. Kominis) and theoretical expertise of our partners from Budapest (G. Djotyan).

Another objective of the project within the topic will be to extend the current techniques of optical dipole trapping to optical lattices. On the one hand, with optical traps we want to perform controlled operations on atoms in optical lattices and, on the other hand, we are heading towards Bose-Einstein condensation in an all-optical setup. The latter will use an optical dipole trap with a powerful (50 W) CO2 laser. Realization of Bose-Einstein condensation in optical trap will significantly extend the potential of Polish BEC research which, so far is limited to experiments with one magnetic trap in the KL FAMO in Torun .
This ambitious task will involve one postdoc.
A cooperating in this subject is forseen with the Nice groups (R. Kaiser, A. Kastberg).

Last field of interest within this subject is the application of cold atoms to fundamental metrology, in particular creation of an optical frequency and time standard (optical atomic clock). The requirements of higher accuracy dictate the move from current time standards based on microwave transition in atomic cesium (frequency ~1010 Hz) to the optical domain (frequency ~1014 Hz). The consortium of laboratories gathered around the KL FAMO Laboratory in Torun decided to start the experimental activity in this area. Our group is involved in this scientific enterprise, our responsibility will be to cool a sample of strontium atoms, confine them in a trap, and eventually in an optical lattice. This constitutes a unique possibility for young physicists (PhD student) to enter the domain of high precision metrology with cold gas samples, which seems to be a strong candidate for the future standard of a time unit.

This task will require involvement of one PhD student.

We will cooperate on this subject with B. Jelenkovic's (Belgrade) and R. Kaiser's (Nice) groups.