Tools for trapping and detecting ultracold gases

by Kahan McAffer Dare

Institution: University of British Columbia
Year: 2016
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2092883
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/57889


We construct a vertical imaging system designed to image along the quantization axis of the experiment. We demonstrate that it has a resolution on the order of 1-2μm which is on par with previous characterizations of the constituent components. We find that the inclusion of the vertical imaging system has a detrimental effect on the atom loading performance of the MOT. We show that this decrease is by approximately a factor of 2 down to 6.5×10⁶ atoms per second and 8.1×10⁷ atoms respectively. We subsequently detail the design of a novel lattice apparatus capable of tuning the lattice spacing by many orders of magnitude on the timescale of a typical experimental cycle. A proof-of-principle for this so-called dilating lattice is realized and the mechanism for variable lattice spacing is shown to work. Lastly, we cover our efforts towards measuring the effect of Feshbach resonances on collisional decoherence rates in ⁶Li. To this end, we show that the Rabi frequency we can create given our current tools is approximately 100Hz. A unknown strong mechanism for decoherence obstructs our experimental signature and a brief discussion of our attempts to discover its origin is presented.