Degree Name

BA in Physics


Physics Department


Katharina Gillen


Quantum computing exploits the laws of quantum mechanics to exponentially increase computing rate for certain processes. A realized quantum computer could break encryptions and simulate large quantum systems previously unbreakable and unattainable with classical computers. Neutral atom quantum computing is a viable candidate for building these devices that satisfies four of the five criteria for a successful quantum computer. We are exploring a novel method in creating neutral atom qubits that involves a magneto-optical trap and a dipole trap created in the diffraction pattern behind an array of pinholes. The magneto-optical trap works to cool the atoms and centralize them into a cold-atom cloud in an ultra-high vacuum chamber. Laser light is then projected into the chamber through the array of pinholes, trapping the cooled atoms in light traps. In order to test the efficiency of our trapping method, I have developed an imaging system that monitors the atoms. The system is comprised of a high-speed camera that takes images of the trap while a photodiode measures the fluorescence signal from the cold-atom cloud. These measurements are used to determine the number of atoms successfully trapped, how long they remain trapped, and the trap frequency. This paper presents the details and process of developing the complete imaging system.