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February 22, 2018 - 10:30am
PAB 232

Ph.D. Candidate: Yijun Tang

Research Advisor:  Benjamin Lev


Date: Thursday, 2/22/2018

Time: 10:30 AM

Location: PAB 232


Title: Thermalization near integrability in a dipolar quantum Newton's cradle


Abstract: Ultracold atomic gases are powerful platforms for studying isolated, nearly ideal quantum systems. Recent advancements in laser cooling and trapping of magnetic lanthanide atoms have introduced magnetic dipole-dipole interaction into the toolbox of ultracold atomic physics. When coupled with the short-ranged Van der Waals interaction, the long-ranged and anisotropic dipolar interaction dramatically modifies the atomic gas properties. This thesis presents experimental studies of ultracold gases of dysprosium (Dy) - the most magnetic atom. We measured the strength of the Van der Waals interaction in bosonic gases of Dy. Furthermore, we studied how the interplay between the Van der Waals and the dipolar interactions affects expansion dynamics in thermal Dy gases. We have also characterized the anisotropic atomic polarizability near the Dy 741-nm narrow-line transition. These measurements led to the creation of the first dipolar quantum Newton's cradle, with which we studied thermalization in a nearly integrable one-dimensional gas with a tunable integrability breaking dipolar interaction.