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Manipulation of Atoms by Laser Pulse Trains
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In the first part of this dissertation, we consider decelerating and cooling an ensemble of multilevel atoms and molecules with a coherent train of ultrashort laser pulses. To mitigate population trapping that would prevent cooling, we propose a novel see-saw scheme of Doppler cooling of multilevel atoms and molecules. In this scheme, the teeth of the frequency comb are periodically moved in and out of resonancewith the allowed transitions. The see-saw cooling may be carried out in practice by switching the carrier-envelope phase offset between predefined values. We study the performance of the see-saw scheme for the simplest prototype three-level -system and demonstrate its advantage. For the second application, the dissertation elucidates merits and caveats of applying the optimal control theory for shaping universal laser pulses that perform single-qubit quantum gates. We show that for the case of the Hadamard gate, a minimum of two targets are required to tailor ideal laser pulses, which carry out the Hadamard gate operation. Moreover, we show that a single optimized ultrashort laser pulse is capable of faithfully executing the Hadamard gate. The analysis of the numerically obtained optimal pulse reveals a frequency chirp. We show that, namely, the frequency chirp is responsible for the proper execution of the Hadamard gate operation.