Continuous Collective Strong Coupling Between Atoms and a High Finesse Cavity on a Forbidden Optical Transition


Over the last several decades, developments in the control and manipulation of cold atoms, ions, and molecules have opened new doors into our understanding of the universe. In particu-lar, precision measurement and quantum information technology have provided a wealth of new knowledge. In this thesis, I present progress towards a continuous wave superradiant laser, a novel ultra-narrow linewidth laser and active frequency reference that promises to further advance precision measurement and quantum science.

In my thesis work, I have demonstrated a major milestone towards the creation of a super-radiant laser with kilosecond coherence times: continuous loading and strong collective coupling of atoms to a high finesse cavity on a forbidden optical transition. To this end, I constructed a new experiment to guide atoms through a series of spatially separated laser cooling stages and deliver a continuous flux of atoms into a travelling lattice supported by a high finesse optical cavity. Unlike many cold atomic experiments that operate in a time-sequential manner, with distinct phases for sample preparation and measurement, this system delivers a truly continuous flux of atoms. This continuous atomic apparatus is the first to demonstrate steady-state strong collective coupling on a narrow linewidth atomic transition and has the highest phase space density of any continuous atomic beam. In addition to setting the foundation for the creation of a continuous wave superra-diant laser, this work opens the door to a new generation of continuous cold atomic devices and a wealth of applications.

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Department of Physics
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University of Colorado Boulder
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