Atom guiding in free-space light beams and photonic crystal fibres
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In this thesis I describe experimental work and present data on the guiding of Rubidium atoms along free-space propagating light beams as well as within hollow core glass fibres, namely photonic crystal fibres. I describe experiments, laser systems and vacuum trap assemblies designed to facilitate this guiding. These experiments are intended to aid progression within the field of cold atom guidance wherein narrow diameter, long distance hollow-fibre guides are a current goal. Realisation of these guides could lead to promising applications such as atom interferometers and spatially accurate, multi-source, atom depositors. Herein, guided fluxes are observed in free-space guiding experiments for distances up to 50mm and up to 10GHz red-detuning from resonance. Additionally hollow-core, Kagome structured, quasi- and true-photonic crystal fibres are characterised. Finally a number of detailed fibre-guiding magneto-optic traps are developed. Both cold atomic-beams and cold atomic clouds are reliably positioned above fibre entrance facets in conjunction with a guiding laser beam coupled into the fibre core. Issues regarding optical flux detection outwith fibre confinement appear to have hindered observation of guided atoms. A far more sensitive detection system has been developed for use in current, ongoing fibre-guide experiments.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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