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Deterministic preparation of a tunable few-fermion system


Serwane,  Friedhelm
Division Prof. Dr. Joachim H. Ullrich, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Serwane, F. (2011). Deterministic preparation of a tunable few-fermion system. PhD Thesis, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg, Germany.

This thesis reports on the preparation of a tunable few-fermion system using ultracold 6Li atoms in an optical dipole trap. We prepare ground state systems consisting of 1 to 10 fermions with fidelities of ~90%. This system has the unique property that key parameters such as particle number, inter-particle interactions and external confining potential are tunable. We use this model system to explore two interacting atoms confined in a one-dimensional potential. For increasing repulsion we measure a decrease of the tunneling time of one atom through a barrier which is created by tilting the potential. From the measured tunneling time we calculate the interaction energy of the system using the WKB technique. This requires detailed knowledge of the confining potential, which we obtain by controlling the motional quantum state of a single atom in the trap. To increase the preparation fidelity of the few-particle systems a high-resolution objective has been designed during this thesis. It will allow us to explore tunable quantum systems in two and three dimensions confined in arbitrary potentials. Because of its great tunability our model system is uniquely suited to explore strongly correlated few-fermion systems, which is one of the major challenges of modern physics.