Introduction to ion trapping and single-ion quantum opto-spin-mechanics

From 18 to 5 august and from 6 to 14 october, we will have the pleasure to host Dr. Lukas Slodicka from the Department of Optics and Quantum Optics Laboratory, Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic. His research focusses on nonclassical light emission from trapped ions and atomic vapors and during his stay he will propose the doctoral lecture outline below.

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  • Invited Professor: Lukas Slodicka
  • Title: Introduction to ion trapping and single-ion quantum opto-spin-mechanics
  • Date: October 7th, 9:15-12:15
  • Where: Institut de Physique de Nice in Sophia Antipolis, 1361 route des lucioles.
  • Registration: Please send email to ideally not later than september 28th.

Atomic ions trapped and laser-cooled in radio-frequency electric potentials have pioneered the experimental control of some of the most fundamental aspects of interaction of light and matter in the quantum domain. They provided an unique testbed for implementation of a precise control of both external-motional and internal-electronic states at the level of individual atoms. Within the past four decades, single trapped ions served for the paramount developments of laser cooling, studies of resonance fluorescence of atoms, and embodied a piloting platform for experimental tests some of the paradigmatic principles of quantum mechanics. The exclusivity of the precise control of the quantum motion of ions in Paul traps at the level of individual motional quanta triggered the pioneering experiments in quantum information processing, and the platform continues to be the most promising for achieving the crucial prospects of its scallability. The high level of isolation of ions from the environment, sub-wavelength localization, and the related availability of very precise spectroscopic methods, are perhaps most apparent in the extreme precision achievable with the optical clocks based on single trapped ions.

The first part of the lecture will introduce the basic physical phenomena relevant to the localization of ions in Paul traps, their laser cooling, and precise manipulation of the electronic and motional degrees of freedom. It will include the simplified description of the interaction of coherent laser light with a single trapped ion in the limit of a quantized motion. The crucial aspects of the sub-wavelength localization limit of this interaction and the corresponding basic processes of controllable coherent coupling between the quantized motion and internal-electronic states will be presented. This will be complemented by the introduction to fundamental methods for the manipulation and read-out of nonclassical motional states of ions in both linear and non-linear interaction regimes. The basic phenomena relevant for the storage and manipulation of states of several ions will be also considered.

The second part of the lecture will focus on the fundamental principles of some of the target applications of ions in Paul traps. It will include an introduction to possible qubit encoding schemes and implementation of basic single and two-qubit gates. The representative applications to quantum simulations of magnetism and particular aspects of optical precision spectroscopy will be introduced. The lecture will conclude with a discussion of feasible prospects controlling the emission of nonclassical light from ions prepared in the quantum states of motion provided by a unique combination of localization parameters of ions in Paul traps. Reciprocally, the possibility of a direct imaging of position probability distributions of quantum states of atomic motion will be considered.