Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Control and Measurement of a Single-Ion Quantum Harmonic Oscillator
by McCormick, Katherine Casey, Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder, 2019, 166; 13882379
Abstract (Summary)

A trapped-ion harmonic oscillator represents a rich and well-controlled platform for tests of quantum physics, with applications to quantum simulations, quantum sensing, and quantum information processing. Owing to its net charge, the ion's motion is affected by changes in the electric potential. Consequently, electric field and potential curvature noise will limit the coherence of the ion's harmonic oscillation. While in some respects, this serves as a limitation in the performance of the trapped ion system (for example, in the fidelity of two-qubit gates or quantum simulations with motional quanta), it also opens an opportunity to use the ion as a precise field sensor and to use engineered quantum states of motion to enhance the sensitivity to these fields beyond the standard quantum limit (SQL). This thesis describes the implementation of such applications on a single beryllium ion confined in a Paul trap.

In the thesis, I present the theory of an ideal harmonic oscillator and the implementation of this system using the motion of a single trapped ion, including producing special quantum states of motion; these states include the energy eigenstates of the harmonic oscillator, called number states, up to n = 100, superpositions of number states of the form 1/√2(|0⟩ + |n⟩), with n up to 18, and coherently displaced number states with an average occupation up to approximately 300. I describe how we use these quantum states of motion for precise sensing of fluctuations of the harmonic oscillator frequency. The sensitivity of the 1/√2(|0⟩ + |n⟩) state ideally follows the 1/n Heisenberg scaling for frequency sensitivity. Additionally, I describe investigations of the spectrum of motional frequency noise using a series of coherent displacements of the motion of the ion, with features similar to Ramsey and dynamical decoupling sequences for two-level systems. While these displaced states don't improve sensitivity over the SQL, they can be simply and rapidly implemented with trapped ions. I discuss extensions to all of these experiments, including to multiple ions in a new trap designed to confine 3 or 4 ions in individually tunable potential wells.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Leibfried, Dietrich, Wineland, David J.
Commitee:
School: University of Colorado at Boulder
Department: Physics
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-B 81/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Physics, Quantum physics, Atomic physics
Keywords: Harmonic oscillator, Quantum mechanics, Trapped ion
Publication Number: 13882379
ISBN: 9781085784078
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