HYBRID SYSTEMS: COLD ATOMS COUPLED TO MICRO MECHANICAL OSCILLATORS
AuthorMonge, Cris A. M.
AdvisorGeraci, Andrew A.
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Micro mechanical oscillators can serve as probes in precision measurements, as transducersto mediate photon-phonon interactions, and when functionalized with magneticmaterial, as tools to manipulate spins in quantum systems. This dissertationincludes two projects where the interactions between cold atoms and mechanical oscillatorsare studied.In one of the experiments, we have manipulated the Zeeman state of magneticallytrapped Rubidium atoms with a magnetic micro cantilever . The results show aspatially localized effect produced by the cantilever that agrees with Landau-Zenertheory. In the future, such a scalable system with highly localized interactions andthe potential for single-spin sensitivity could be useful for applications in quantuminformation science or quantum simulation.In a second experiment, work is in progress to couple a sample of optically trappedRubidium atoms to a levitated nanosphere via an optical lattice . This couplingenables the cooling of the center-of-mass motion of the nanosphere by laser coolingthe atoms. In this system, the atoms are trapped in the optical lattice while thesphere is levitated in a separate vacuum chamber by a single-beam optical tweezer.Theoretical analysis of such a system has determined that cooling the center-of-massmotion of the sphere to its quantum ground state is possible, even when starting atroom temperature, due to the excellent environmental decoupling achievable in thissetup. Nanospheres cooled to the quantum regime can provide new tests of quantumbehavior at mesoscopic scales and have novel applications in precision sensing.