We study the means of preparing and coherently manipulating atomic wave packets in optical lattices, with particular emphasis on alkali-metal atoms in the far-detuned limit. We derive a general, basis-independent expression for the lattice potential operator, and show that its off-diagonal elements can be tailored to couple the vibrational manifolds of separate magnetic sublevels. Using these couplings one can evolve the state of a trapped atom in a quantum coherent fashion, and prepare pure quantum states by resolved-sideband Raman cooling. We explore the use of atoms bound in optical lattices to study quantum tunneling and the generation of macroscopic superposition states in a double-well potential. Far-off-resonance optical potentials lend themselves particularly well to reservoir engineering via well-controlled fluctuations in the potential, making the atom-lattice system attractive for the study of decoherence and the connection between classical and quantum physics.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics