Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Dalila Robledo L&S Sciences

Photoassociation and STIRAP on Ultracold LiRb Molecules

The experiment that I will be working on this summer is currently being set up to prepare lithium-rubidium ultracold molecules. Ultracold molecules are those whose kinetic temperature as a measure of their velocity distribution is close to zero Kelvin, the regime where quantum effects of matter dominate.
An interesting property of this particular molecule is its intrinsically large permanent dipole moment, which allows it to strongly interact with neighboring molecules. Strong tunable interactions allow for the realization of quantum entangling operations, so understanding and controlling molecular systems contributes to both quantum information as well as quantum simulation.
My project involves setting up a Titanium-Sapphire laser in order to identify an intermediate state for transferring a population between two molecular states with high fidelity. Namely, we will first use this laser on a cloud of lithium and rubidium atoms to drive transitions to electronically excited molecular states of LiRb. Once we identify the appropriate transitions, we can further explore coherent two-photon transitions to the absolute ground state.

Message To Sponsor

While having fun aligning a Titanium-Sapphire laser, building electronics, and making simulations of a magnetic trap, it was stimulating to learn about the techniques and challenges of this field. Furthermore, I realized that advances in this research can help us control chemical reactions, manufacture quantum information technology, explore of many-body physics, and explain quantum phenomena we have yet to understand. From fundamental physics to medicine and technology, its rich complexity and wide applicability inspired me to pursue ultracold atomic physics in graduate school. This summer, I acquired valuable experimental skills as well as great insights into atomic physics. Developing my interest, focus, and readiness for graduate school would have not been possible without the Anselm fund, for which I am deeply thankful.
Profile image of Dalila Robledo
Major: Physics
Mentor: Dan Stamper-Kurn
Sponsor: Anselm Fund
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