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Faculty Mentor

Thomas Carroll


Systems are known to thermalize, or reach equilibrium, with the passing of time. However, when this does not occur, the quantum states of the system may be localized. Localized states carry information of the system’s initial state that is typically lost during the process of thermalization. We aim to study thermalization and localization in systems of rubidium Rydberg atoms, and to further understand these phenomena via simulation while we are developing a more refined experiment. These atoms exchange energy via tuned resonances while contained within a magneto optical trap. This process can be categorized as either a two, three, or four body interaction; localization is only expected to occur in the latter two. As the atoms transfer energy via dipole-dipole interactions, the population of atoms occupying different states shifts. Some atoms are shifted to a measurable state, and each trial of the experiment lasts for only several microseconds as data is collected. The energy transport within the system is simulated on a supercomputer in order to produce a model for the experimental data, while also allowing us to closely analyze parameters that are not accessible through experiment. From the model, we hope to learn whether the system thermalizes or localizes. We present initial simulation results exploring the energy exchange dynamics in a Rubidium many-body system.


Presented during the 22nd Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 24, 2020 at Ursinus College.

The downloadable file is a slide presentation with audio commentary in mp4 format. The presentation has a run time of 10:02.

The final project is available here.

Open Access

Available to all.