Neutral atom detection

Pages maintained by
Ben Buchler


This work is being done in collaboration with the the Atom Laser Group.


With squeezed light and condensed atoms, there are a range of interesting experiments that could map quantum states of light onto the atomic states. One such proposal is to make a "squeezed atom laser."

Before any such experiment can be done, we need a way of measuring atom lasers in same sort of way photodetectors measure optical lasers. In metastable helium experiments, this is pretty straightforward, since metastable helium atoms have about 20eV of energy and detection can be done using a multi-channel plate. Rubidium atom lasers need some other technique. Currently, we are modelling cavity detection of Rb atom lasers.

Details can be found here:

Single-atom detection with optical cavities.
Phys. Rev. A (2008) vol. 78 (1) 013640
R Poldy, B. C Buchler, J. D Close.

Feasibility of squeezing measurements with cavity-based atom detection
 R. Poldy, B. C. Buchler, P. A. Altin, N. P. Robins, and J. D. Close
 Phys. Rev. A 86, 043806 (2012)


The movie shows the signal-to noise ratio for single atom detection with a cavity of finesse 10,000 as the input power is varied. The x axis is laser-cavity detuning and the y axis is atom-laser detuning.