We present progress toward a direct spectroscopic measurement of the dipole-dipole and van der Waals interactions between Rydberg atoms excited from a cold gas. We have collected ^85Rb atoms in a broadband optical dipole trap (laser wavelength 1064nm) with a 15 micron FWHM diameter, and characterized the temperature, atom number, density, and size of the trapped sample using shadow imaging. The dipole trap will be employed to measure Rydberg-atom interactions using two independently tunable Rydberg excitation laser pulses. The first pulse is tuned to the interaction-free Rydberg excitation resonance; this pulse prepares a dilute gas of cold Rydberg atoms. The frequency of the second pulse is scanned relative to that of the first one, allowing us to map out the spectrum of energy-shifted collective states. In our poster, we will discuss methods and results, as well as potential applications in quantum information processing.
APS Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- June 2007