Time-delayed intensity-interferometry of the emission from ultracold atoms in a steady-state magneto-optical trap

22 Feb 2015  ·  K. Muhammed Shafi, Pandey Deepak, Suryabrahmam Buti, Girish B. S., Ramachandran Hema ·

An accurate measurement of the bunching of photons in the fluorescent emission from an ultracold ensemble of thermal 87Rb atoms in a steady-state magneto-optical trap is presented. Time-delayed-intensity-interferometry (TDII) performed with a 5-nanosecond time resolution yielded a second-order intensity correlation function that has the ideal value of 2 at zero delay, and that shows coherent Rabi oscillations of upto 5 full periods - much longer than the spontaneous emission lifetime of the excited state of Rb... The oscillations are damped out by ~150ns, and thereafter, as expected from a thermal source, an exponential decay is observed, enabling the determination of the temperature of the atomic ensemble. Values so obtained compare well with those determined by standard techniques. TDII thus enables a quantitative study of the coherent and incoherent dynamics, even of a large thermal ensemble of atomic emitters. read more

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