Special Seminar

Special Seminar

Atomic systems: platforms for fundamental physics and open quantum system engineering


January 20, 2022 - 11:00am to 12:00pm


MS Teams



NIST Gaithersburg


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Abstract: In recent years, there have been rapid breakthroughs in quantum technologies that offer opportunities for fundamental physics discoveries and advanced understanding of basic quantum phenomena. In this perspective, first I will describe an application of atomic systems as quantum sensors for precision measurements of fundamental physics: atomic nuclear spin-dependent parity violation (NSD-PV) measurements. NSD-PV effects arise from exchange of the Z0 boson between electrons and the nucleus, and from interaction of electrons with the nuclear anapole moment, a parity-odd magnetic moment. We studied NSD-PV effects using diatomic molecules, where the signal is dramatically amplified by bringing rotational levels of opposite parity close to degeneracy in a strong magnetic field. I will present results that demonstrate sensitivity to NSD-PV surpassing that of any previous atomic PV measurement using the test system 138Ba19F, and discuss prospects of using this technique to measure aspects of the electroweak interaction that are difficult to determine with other methods.

In the second half, I turn to the basic tenet of quantum technologies: quantum measurement and quantum control. Ultracold atoms - our workhorse for quantum simulation, are an ideal platform for understanding the system-reservoir dynamics of many-body systems. Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) offer multitude of non-destructive imaging methods, which are weak measurement techniques that yield a controlled reservoir and consequently allow time-resolved study of the system evolution paving the way for real-time control of quantum gases. To this end, I will describe our versatile high-resolution ultracold atom microscope: a combined hardware/software system that recovers near-diffraction limited performance and maximizes the information that is read out. Our high-fidelity digital correction technique reduces the contribution of photon shot noise to density-density correlation measurements which would otherwise contaminate the quantum projection noise signal in weak measurements. Finally, I will discuss the experimental characterization of the quantum projection noise from the measurement process.

Bio: Emine Altuntas is a postdoctoral researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology Gaithersburg and the Joint Quantum Institute in Dr. Ian Spielman's group. She received her B.A. from Amherst College in physics and political science in 2011. Subsequently she received her Ph.D. in 2017 from Yale University where in Prof. David DeMille's group she studied parity violation effects in diatomic molecules to characterize strong-force induced modifications of electroweak interactions. Her current research focuses on quantum backaction limited measurements in ultracold atoms towards the realization of open quantum systems. Her research interests include precision measurements of violations of discrete spacetime symmetries, and quantum measurement and quantum control with ultracold neutral atoms.