Event Details


  • 2017-01-04
  • Athreya Shankar, JILA, NIST, and University of Colorado, Boulder.

Ultranarrow-⁠linewidth atoms coupled to a lossy optical cavity mode synchronize, i.e. develop correlations, and exhibit steady-⁠state superradiance when continuously repumped. Such a superradiant laser displays rich collective physics and promises metrological applications as an ultrastable frequency reference. These features inspire us to investigate if analogous spin synchronization is possible in a different platform that is one of the most robust and controllable experimental testbeds currently available: ion-⁠trap systems.

In this talk, I will introduce the steady-⁠state superradiant laser as the alter ego of the traditional laser, where the role of the atoms and the cavity mode are interchanged. I will highlight the role of synchronization in drastically reducing the linewidth of the output light. I will then proceed to describe my recent theoretical work on synchronizing an ensemble of trapped ions using a collective vibrational mode as a substitute for an optical cavity mode, and observing their collective behavior through Ramsey interferometry.

Athreya Shankar is a graduate student in the University of Colorado Boulder. He graduated with a B. Tech (Hons.) in Engineering Physics from IIT Madras in 2014. His research interests include light-⁠atom interactions and collective behavior in ensembles of quantum objects.