Ultracold Mixtures of Rubidium and Ytterbium for Open Quantum System Engineering
Herold, Creston David
Porto, James V
Rolston, Steven L
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Exquisite experimental control of quantum systems has led to sharp growth of basic quantum research in recent years. Controlling dissipation has been crucial in producing ultracold, trapped atomic samples. Recent theoretical work has suggested dissipation can be a useful tool for quantum state preparation. Controlling not only how a system interacts with a reservoir, but the ability to engineer the reservoir itself would be a powerful platform for open quantum system research. Toward this end, we have constructed an apparatus to study ultracold mixtures of rubidium (Rb) and ytterbium (Yb). We have developed a Rb-blind optical lattice at 423.018(7) nm, which will enable us to immerse a lattice of Yb atoms (the system) into a Rb BEC (superfluid reservoir). We have produced Bose-Einstein condensates of 170-Yb and 174-Yb, two of the five bosonic isotopes of Yb, which also has two fermionic isotopes. Flexible optical trapping of Rb and Yb was achieved with a two-color dipole trap of 532 and 1064 nm, and we observed thermalization in ultracold mixtures of Rb and Yb. Using the Rb-blind optical lattice, we measured very small light shifts of 87-Rb BECs near the light shift zero-wavelengths adjacent the 6p electronic states, through a coherent series of lattice pulses. The positions of the zero-wavelengths are sensitive to the electric dipole matrix elements between the 5s and 6p states, and we made the first experimental measurement of their strength. By measuring a light shift, we were not sensitive to excited state branching ratios, and we achieved a precision better than 0.3%.