Date Awarded

Fall 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Seth Aubin

Committee Member

John B Delos

Committee Member

Todd Averett

Committee Member

Enrico Rossi

Committee Member

Charles Sukenik


Ultracold atom experiments use a gas of neutral atoms with temperatures less than 100 µK above absolute zero and offer unmatched experimental control of quantum states and coherence, which has allowed ultracold atom-based measurements to be some of the most precise to date. While ultracold atom experiments can control almost all atomic degrees of freedom, spin-dependent trapping and spatial manipulation has remained difficult if not inaccessible. We are developing a method of spin-dependent trapping and spatial manipulation for ultracold neutral atoms using the AC Zeeman force produced by a microwave magnetic near-field gradient generated by an atom chip. We measure the AC Zeeman force on ultracold rubidium atoms by observing its effect on the motion of atoms in free-fall and on those confined in a trap. We have studied the force as a function of microwave frequency detuning from a hyperfine transition at 6.8 GHz at several magnetic field strengths and have observed its characteristic bipolar and resonant features predicted by two-level dressed atom theory. We find that the force is several times the strength of gravity in our setup, and that it can be targeted to a specific hyperfine transition while leaving other hyperfine states and transitions relatively unaffected. We find that our measurements are reasonably consistent with parameter-free theoretical predictions.



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