A Caltech Library Service

Experiments in Cavity QED: Exploring the Interaction of Quantized Light with a Single Trapped Atom


Boca, Andreea (2005) Experiments in Cavity QED: Exploring the Interaction of Quantized Light with a Single Trapped Atom. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/BK2X-HX12.


The experiments discussed in this thesis focus on the interaction of a single trapped atom with the single mode of a high-finesse optical cavity, in the regime of strong coupling.

Chapter 1 gives a brief introduction, after which Chapter 2 describes our recent measurements of the transmission spectrum of the atom-cavity system. The spectrum exhibits a clearly resolved vacuum-Rabi splitting, in good quantitative agreement with theoretical predictions. A new Raman scheme for cooling atomic motion along the cavity axis enables a complete spectrum to be recorded for an individual atom trapped within the cavity mode, in contrast to all previous measurements of this type that have required averaging over 10^3-10^5 atoms.

Chapter 3 discusses our observations of photon blockade for the transmitted light in the presence of one trapped atom. Excitation of the atom-cavity system by a first photon blocks the transmission of a second one, thereby converting an incident Poissonian stream of photons into a sub-Poissonian, anti-bunched stream, as confirmed by measurements of the photon statistics of the transmitted field. The intensity correlations of the cavity transmission also reveal the energy distribution for oscillatory motion of the trapped atom.

Chapter 4 details a set of simple but necessary measurements of relevant experimental parameters such as cavity geometry, linewidth, mirror properties, birefringence, and detection efficiency. The thesis concludes with Appendix A, describing the efficient laser setup we use for our magneto-optical traps.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:atom trapping; cavity QED; quantum optics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Kimble, H. Jeff
Thesis Committee:
  • Kimble, H. Jeff (chair)
  • Roukes, Michael Lee
  • Yeh, Nai-Chang
  • Frautschi, Steven C.
Defense Date:26 May 2005
Non-Caltech Author Email:andreea.boca (AT)
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-05272005-163452
Persistent URL:
Boca, Andreea0000-0001-6877-7295
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2161
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:31 May 2005
Last Modified:08 Nov 2023 18:42

Thesis Files

PDF - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page