Apr 11

Philip Starkey PhD submission

Philip has submitted his thesis titled “A software framework for control and automation of precisely timed experiments.”

Congratulations Phil!

Jan 11

Farewell to Russ

Today we farewell Dr Russell Anderson, who is leaving Monash after nine years to take up a continuing teaching and research position as senior lecturer in physics at Latrobe University.

Russ came to Monash as a postdoctoral fellow in 2010. He not only built much of the spinor BEC apparatus but was the academic leader of our labscript software project. He supervised four successful PhD completions, and numerous Honours and undergraduate project students. He was a CI on a Linkage 2013-16 with MOGLabs Pty Ltd which developed a radiofrequency pulse sequencer now commercially available.

Appointed lecturer in 2015 with the major responsibility of running and enhancing our second year laboratories, he taught optics, thermal physics and quantum mechanics at levels two through graduate. Russ’s advocacy for coding in the curriculum was behind the successful integration of Mathematica into second, and then third year teaching from 2016. His leadership in education more broadly resulted in three VC’s citations for teaching excellence, and a 2017 AAUT national award. His education leadership has had university-level impact through mentoring national award winners from other faculties and through outreach activities especially to secondary science teachers.

We wish Russ continued success in his new position, and will miss his presence in the Monash labs.

Jan 11

Tom Mawson PhD submission

Thomas Mawson has submitted his PhD thesis, titled “Topological interactions of two-dimensional non-Abelian quantum vortices in spinor Bose-Einstein condensates.”

Congratulations Tom!

Oct 31

Farewell to Tapio

Senior Lecturer Dr Tapio Simula is leaving Monash to undertake an ARC Future Fellowship he was awarded, in the Centre for Quantum and Optical Sciences at Swinburne University of Technology. During the last several years at Monash, Tapio had over 30 peer-reviewed publications accepted, including 4 Physical Review Letters and 19 articles in Physical Review A. Tapio contributed generously to research training, supervising five PhD, 10 Honours, and over a dozen undergraduate research project students.

We wish Tapio continued success in his new position!

Sep 28

Shaun Johnstone PhD Submission

Shaun submitted his PhD thesis this week!

The thesis, titled Quantum Turbulence in a Planar Bose-Einstein Condensate, describes experiments performed in an oblate BEC, where the sign and position every vortex in chaotic distributions were tracked.

 

Update: Shaun’s thesis has now passed examination, and the final version is available online.

Jul 03

Chris Billington PhD submission

Chris Billington submitted his PhD thesis today! Chris’s thesis, titled State-dependent forces in cold quantum gases, shows how to model atoms as billiard balls but still capture their quantumness.

Chris will soon be returning to the Joint Quantum Institute in the US where he’ll be a postdoctoral fellow.

Update: On October 29th, Chris’s thesis was ratified by the Monash Graduate Research Office. Congratulations, Chris!

Oct 23

Andrew Groszek PhD submission

Andrew Groszek submitted his PhD thesis!

Jun 27

Continuous dynamical decoupling preprint on the arXiv

Driving transitions between spin states creates new ‘continuous dynamical decoupled’ states, sensitive to oscillating fields yet protected from low-frequency drifts and inhomogeneities. We continuously observe an ultracold spin-1 gas undergoing such decoupling, measuring the populations, splittings, and couplings of the new states in real time [1]. This characterization is completed during a single experimental preparation, rather than the hundreds required with projective measurement. We show that one state-pair is protected to fourth-order with respect to field instabilities, higher than the quadratic suppression of standard decoupling. Combining continuous measurement with continuous decoupling will enable feedback and tracking capabilities for noise-robust atomic magnetometry. This work complements parallel measurements of the same rf-dressed system by Trypogeorgos et al. using projective readout of dressed state populations at higher magnetic fields [2].

Update (28/12/2017): This paper has been accepted by Physical Review A.

[1] R. P. Anderson, M. J. Kewming, L. D. Turner. Continuously observing a dynamically decoupled spin-1 quantum gas. arXiv:1706.08322.
[2] D. Trypogeorgos, A. Valdés-Curiel, N. Lundblad, I. B. Spielman. Synthetic clock transitions via continuous dynamical decoupling. arXiv:1706.07876.

Jan 04

Hologram paper in Optics Express

The Helmerson lab’s work on high efficiency, low cost holographic optical elements for ultracold atom trapping has been published in Optics Express! You can read about how we create static elements to avoid using an SLM directly on our apparatus at https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.25.000296

An example of a Hermite-Gauss hologram, used to provide the tight trapping in one dimension required to form a pancake-shaped BEC.

An example of a Hermite-Gauss hologram, used to provide the tight trapping in one dimension required to form a pancake-shaped BEC.

Jul 27

Vector light shift preprint on the arXiv

The Spinor Lab have released a preprint on measurement and cancellation of vector light shifts in optical dipole traps [1]. The optical dipole force was first used to trap neutral atoms by Chu, et al. 30 years ago [2]. The following decade, and three years after the realisation of Bose-Einstein condensates of dilute gases, optical dipole traps were used to confine BECs [3], heralding the study of spinor BECs. Unlocking the spin degree-of-freedom of the condensate relies on being able to confine multiple spin states simultaneously. When all spin states of a condensate are confined equally, the spin dynamics are largely decoupled from the spatial degree-of-freedom. However, this relies on a precisely linear polarisation state of the trapping light, imperfections of which can result in a spin-dependent energy shift. Such vector light shifts are apparent as a `fictitious’ magnetic field, and the same intensity curvature used to generate the trapping potential is manifest as an effective magnetic field gradient. These gradients are deleterious for preserving coherent spin evolution, and vector light shifts more generally are a hindrance for atomic magnetometry from nanokelvin to room temperatures. A significant part of Alex Wood’s PhD involved characterising and controlling this phenomenon using two spinor BECs in proximity to each other. This result also constitutes our first magnetically sensitive trapped-atom interferometer, with an interrogation time of 15 milliseconds.

Update (23/09/2016): This paper has been accepted by Physical Review A. Based on peer review, we added an appendix on thermally induced birefringence by the dipole trapping beams on glass vacuum windows.

[1] A. A. Wood, L. D. Turner, and R. P. Anderson. Measurement and extinction of vector light shifts using interferometry of spinor condensates. arXiv:1607.06898.
[2] S. Chu, J. E. Bjorkholm, A. Ashkin, and A. Cable. Phys. Rev. Lett. 57, 314 (1986).
[3] D. M. Stamper-Kurn, M. R. Andrews, A. P. Chikkatur, S. Inouye, H.-J. Miesner, J. Stenger, and W. Ketterle. Phys. Rev. Lett. 80, 2027 (1998)

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