BaMa projects on Atom Chips: from quantum gases to quantum information

(Dr. N.J. van Druten, dr. R.J.C. Spreeuw, dr. S.M. Whitlock)

Bachelor projects and second-year projects

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Master projects

For information please contact Robert Spreeuw or Klaasjan van Druten.

General information on atom chips

CELSIUS chip Atom chips are microstructures, designed to trap and manipulate ultracold atoms (down to a few 100 nK) in a vacuum close to a surface. Atom chips bear great potential to make quantum gases available on a wider scale and to facilitate the construction of atomic clocks, matter wave interferometers and even quantum computers. In the Quantum Gases & Quantum Information group we have two atom chip setups operational, both of which reached Bose-Einstein condensation in 2006. The two setups use different techniques and have different scientific goals.

partially condensed cloud The first experiment ("CELSIUS") is aimed at achieving a one-dimensional gas of ultracold bosons on a chip. The most intriguing feature of the 1D quantum gas is that bosons interact more strongly with decreasing density. If the interaction is strong enough the Tonks-Girardeau (TG) regime is entered where the many-body quantum state can be mapped on that of free fermions and can be exactly solved. To reach this regime, we may need to push our atom chips to their limits. To allow testing and characterization, a separate test chip in a small vacuum chamber is available. By joining this project, you will improve the understanding of the limits of our atom chips and find ways to push those limits further, in order to explore new features of the Bose gas on a chip.

lattice chip In the second experiment, the magnetic-film chip, we aim at quantum information processing. Our specialty is that we use films of a hard-magnetic material (somewhat like a hard disk) and etch patterns into these using modern lithographic techniques. We now have a magnetic-film chip that hosts a vast array of microtraps (>105 traps/cm2), which could serve as a scalable qubit shift register. lattice chip This magnetic lattice is presently unique in the world, and we are now exploring the various steps along the road toward developing our chip as a quantum information processor.

We welcome enthousiastic students who would like to help us pushing our research further along. We describe a few specific projects below. Depending on the precise timing, extent, and of course your own interest, you may be exposed to many aspects and techniques, including Quantum gases, Quantum information processing, Cleanroom techniques (using the facilities at the Amsterdam nanoCenter), Radio frequency and microwave techniques, Designing and simulating new chip structures, Materials science, e.g. growing and characterizing magnetic films (in collaboration with the group of Jeroen Goedkoop)

For more information contact Robert Spreeuw or Klaasjan van Druten.