Many-Body Physics in an Optical Lattice Clock

In this work we study the effect of interactions in an optical lattice clock based on fermionic Sr atoms. In current one-dimensional lattice clocks nuclear spin-polarized atoms are known to have contact interactions of p-wave character and collective in nature. Here we focus on interactions that will influence the design of future optical lattice clocks. We study the case where atoms are no longer confined to a single nuclear spin state. By using samples of atoms with different distributions among the ten nuclear spin states of Sr we show that these interactions are SU(N ) symmetric up to a 3% uncertainty in our measurements. Through these measurements we are also able to determine all the s-wave and p-wave scattering lengths.
We also study the case of nuclear spin-polarized interacting atoms that are allowed to tunnel between different lattice sites where the electronic spin and the motion of these atoms become cou-pled. We observe spectroscopically the precession of the collective magnetization and evolution of spin locking effects arising from the interplay between p-wave interactions and interactions induced by the spin-orbit coupling. The many-body dynamics are captured by a spin model that describes a broad class of condensed matter systems ranging from superconductors to quantum magnets.
By loading a dense sample of atoms into a magneto-optical trap we are able to observe long-range dipole-dipole interactions between our Sr atoms. These interactions will be important for atomic clocks based on a three dimensional lattice, such as the one recently demonstrated in our lab. In these clocks it is possible to remove the contact interactions between the atoms by loading only one atom per lattice site. In this case the dominant interactions will be from the long-range dipole-dipole interactions that will take place between the atoms.
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Department of Physics
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University of Colorado Boulder
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