Faraday magnetic resonance imaging of Bose-Einstein condensates

2017-03-01T04:27:40Z (GMT) by Jasperse, Martijn
This thesis presents a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique for spinor Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC) with the paramagnetic Faraday effect. This quantum-photon interface couples the spin of the BEC to the polarisation of an off-resonant laser, which in a magnetic field gradient allows a 1D density profile of the BEC to be reconstructed. As opposed to conventional imaging techniques that are destructive or diffraction limited, this technique is minimally destructive to the BEC and not diffraction limited. Multishot in situ imaging of a single condensate is therefore possible, paving the way for time-resolved studies and 2D/3D reconstructions. A theoretical model for Faraday imaging is developed using the tensor polarisability formalism for the atom-light interaction, and the signal-to-noise ratio is derived. Resolution limits induced by Stern-Gerlach separation are considered, encouraging rapid measurements with strong magnetic field gradients. Analysing the trapping potential reveals that the `magic-zero' wavelength 790nm produces no dipole force and enables a tightly focused probe laser to be used without perturbing the trap. Polarisation-maintaining fibers were seen to impart large fluctuations depending on the incident polarisation, which were minimised. The broad diode laser emission background is seen to reduce the lifetime of the BEC, which was corrected with an interference filter. Short-time Fourier transforms are used to process the photodetected signal, showing the evolution of the polarisation rotation frequency and amplitude. Frequency-modulation is observed at the power line frequency, corresponding to magnetic field fluctuations induced by nearby equipment. Birefringence of optical elements results in elliptical polarisation of the probe and an effective magnetic field, which is cancelled using a quarter-waveplate. The quadratic Zeeman effect causes rapid amplitude modulation, and is eliminated by applying a microwave dressing field. Radiative spin echo is achieved in a magnetic field gradient, proving that dephasing is coherent, and that multishot imaging possible. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is performed on a partially-evaporated atom cloud, distinguishing the thermal and condensed fractions. A split dipole trap is used to create two spatially separated BECs, which are individually resolved during MRI. The resolution is only limited by the strength of the applied magnetic field gradient, and is not subject to the diffraction limit. Custom coils will enable MRI of condensates at the sub-micron scale.