Van der Waals explosion of cold Rydberg clusters

Year: 2016

Authors: Faoro R., Simonelli C., Archimi M., Masella G., Valado MM., Arimondo E., Mannella R., Ciampini D., Morsch O.,

Autors Affiliation: Dipartimento di Fisica “E. Fermi”, Università di Pisa, Largo Bruno Pontecorvo 3, 56127 Pisa, Italy
Laboratoire Aimé Cotton, CNRS, Université Paris-Sud, ENS Cachan, Campus d’Orsay, Bât 505, 91405 Orsay, France
INO-CNR, Via Giovanni Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa, Italy
CNISM UdR Dipartimento di Fisica “E. Fermi,” Università di Pisa, Largo Pontecorvo 3, 56127 Pisa, Italy

Abstract: We report on the direct measurement in real space of the effect of the van der Waals forces between individual Rydberg atoms on their external degrees of freedom. Clusters of Rydberg atoms with interparticle distances of around 5 mu m are created by first generating a small number of seed excitations in amagneto-optical trap, followed by off-resonant excitation that leads to a chain of facilitated excitation events. After a variable expansion time the Rydberg atoms are field ionized, and from the arrival time distributions the size of the Rydberg cluster after expansion is calculated. Our experimental results agree well with a numerical simulation of the van der Waals explosion.


Volume: 93 (3)      Pages from: 030701-1  to: 030701-5

More Information: We acknowledge support by the European Union H2020 FET Proactive project RySQ (Grant No. 640378) and the EU Marie Curie ITN COHERENCE.
KeyWords: Atoms; Blockade; Gas; Molecules; Rydberg excitation; Ultracold atoms
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.93.030701

Citations: 29
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