Physics & Astronomy
A Rydberg atom has a highly excited valence electron which is weakly bound and far from the nucleus. These atoms have exaggerated properties that make them attractive candidates for quantum computation and studies of fundamental quantum mechanics. The discrete energy levels of Rydberg atoms are shifted in the presence of an electric field by the Stark effect and are similarly shifted due to a magnetic field by the Zeeman effect. These effects couple the energy levels together, creating avoiding crossings. At these avoided crossings, an electron in one energy level can jump to the other.
Our goal is to be able to use these avoided crossings to put the electron in a superposition state of both energy levels. In order to achieve this we created new software that enables us to calculate the energy levels of an electron in both a magnetic and an electric field. We present energy level maps visualizing the results of the Stark and Zeeman effects.
Rowley, Zoe A. and Gualtieri, Bianca R., "Engineering Electron Superpositions Using a Magnetic Field" (2017). Physics and Astronomy Summer Fellows. 15.