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EPSRC Reference: GR/R14415/01
Title: Laser Cooling of Ca+ and Decoherence Studies In a Penning Trap
Principal Investigator: Segal, Professor D
Other Investigators:
Thompson, Professor RC
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Dept of Physics
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 June 2001 Ends: 30 November 2004 Value (£): 406,161
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Cold Atomic Species
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Experiments to date in the rapidly expanding field of quantum information processing have shown clearly that the entangled states required for many of the applications are very fragile and are susceptible to a range of influences that cause decoherence. Ions held in radiofrequency traps show great promise in this field, however, one of the main sources of decoherence in these experiments results from the presence of a large amplitude radiofrequency electric field used to drive the traps. The Penning trap uses static electric and magnetic fields to achieve trapping and so does not suffer from some of the heating effects associated with radiofrequency traps. We propose a range of investigations of Ca+ ions in a Penning trap designed to assess the feasibility of this system for quantum information studies. The first challenge is to perform Doppler cooling of Ca+ ions in a Penning trap for the first time. This is complicated by the presence of large Zeeman shifts and requires extra lasers and microwave frequencies not needed in a radiofrequency trap. Having achieved Doppler cooling we will proceed to implement sub-Doppler cooling to the motional ground state of the trap for one ion. We will then attempt to drive the qubit transition coherently and measure the decay time for the Rabi oscillations -a measure of the decoherence rate of the system. This will require one of the lasers to be highly stabilised. Another aspect of the programme is the implementation of a scheme through which small ion crystals may be confined along the axis of the trap. These crystals can then be imaged using a gated intensified CCD camera and used for further studies.
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk