Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Physical Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Síle Nic Chormaic

Second Advisor

Dr Liam McDonnell


In this thesis, laser cooling and trapping techniques are implemented to forrn a cold atom cloud of 85Rb atoms in a magneto-optical trap (Mon configuration. The system produces an atom cloud of~ 1.5 mm in diameter, containing ~ 108 atoms and an average temperature in the sub-Doppler range. Tapered optical fibres (TOFs) are also detailed here, including their guiding properties and the process used for their fabrication. Many possible applications for TOFs have been proposed and one such application is investigated, i.e. the use of TOFs as highly sensitive atom probes. The research results contained within this thesis describe two techniques whereby TOFs can be used as probes.

By overlapping the TOF and a cold atom cloud spontaneously emitted photons from the trapped atoms are coupled into the guided mode of the TOF. This then allows characteristics of the cold atom cloud, such as the cloud profile, loading time, lifetime and temperature to be determined. The second technique uses light guided by, but external to, the fibre, i.e. within the evanescent field, to probe the surrounding environment, which may be a cold atom cloud or a background vapour. The work presented also describes a theoretical basis for quantum state preparation using multi-level-atom optics, allowing for the creation of spatial superposition states in which one has perfect control over the population distribution and also the phase relation.

Access Level


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Physics Commons