NONEQUILIBRIUM MANYBODY DYNAMICS WITH ULTRACOLD ATOMS IN OPTICAL LATTICES AND SELECTED PROBLEMS IN ATOMIC PHYSICS
Porto, James V
Rolston, Steven L
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This thesis is a collection of three separate projects ordered according to the historical development of atomic physics, covering first spectroscopy, then laser cooling, and finally the exploration of quantum dynamics of many-particle states of ultra-cold atoms in optical lattices. We begin with a description of the theory of atomic line shapes with unresolvable hyperfine structure. We apply this theory to experimentally measured spectra of the Lithium D lines and report improved determination of the absolute transition frequencies and an improved bound of the difference in 6Li-7Li nuclear charge radius. We then discuss multi-photon processes in laser cooling and report experimental implementation of multi-photon laser cooling and magneto optical trapping using short lived excited to excited transitions in 133Cs. We present a theoretical proposal to laser cool (Anti-) Hydrogen using a Doppler selective 1S-2S excitation and the Sisyphus effect on the 2S-3P transition. Finally, we detail the construction and operation of an ultracold 87Rb apparatus with a double well optical lattice. We use this lattice to prepare excited many-body states with N´eel antiferromagnetic order and to study the resulting non-equilibrium magnetization dynamics. We observe regimes where the dynamics is dominated by superexchange mediated magnetic interactions.