Starting a Na-K experiment for simulating quantum many-body phenomena


This thesis describes the construction of a new apparatus to study quantum gas mixtures of sodium and potassium. Our experimental approach entails, using two independent two-dimensional magnetooptical traps (2D MOTs) as sources of cold atoms for a dual-species magneto optical trap (3D MOT). Therefore, we have implemented a versatile laser system, with which we are able to cool 39K, 40K and 23Na. The laser light, which is stabilized to a spectroscopy line, is amplified with a home-built tapered amplifier, split and finally frequency-shifted to generate the cooler, repumper, Zeeman slower and push beam. We are able to switch between the two potassium isotopes using a beat lock system. To trap the atoms, we create magnetic quadrupole fields, employing permanent magnets in the 2D MOTs and magnetic field coils in the 3D MOT. Finally, I report on the implementation of a computer-based control system, which automatizes experimental sequences and simplifies parameter optimization processes. Due to its tunability and flexibility, the new Na-K experiment will serve as a platform to study quantum many-body physics ranging from quantum thermodynamics to the investigation of lattice gauge theories.

Jan Kilinc
Jan Kilinc
PhD Student