Date

6-2011

Degree Name

BS in Physics

Department

Physics Department

Advisor(s)

Katharina Gillen

Abstract

Neutral atom quantum computing is a promising avenue toward the realization of a physical quantum computer. The diffraction pattern formed by laser light immediately behind a circular aperture can be used as optical atomic dipole traps, and has the potential to be scaled up to create a two dimensional array of individually addressable qubit sites. In working towards experimental demonstration of the dipole traps, we are constructing a MOT. The function of the MOT is to cool and trap 87Rb in a localized cloud in our vacuum chamber, which will be used to load the dipole traps. One critical aspect to the functioning of the MOT is the precise tuning of the trapping laser to the red of the F=2→F’=3 hyperfine transition and the pump laser to the F=1F’=2 hyperfine transition. We have successfully constructed a saturated absorption apparatus which works to distinguish the hyperfine structure of Rb within the Doppler broadened transition peaks. The saturated absorption scans serve to correlate the voltage applied to the piezo with the laser light frequencies causing hyperfine transitions in Rb, allowing for the precise tuning of the lasers needed to trap atoms.