Quantum control of a many-body system in a spin-1 Bose-Einstein condensate
Hoang, Thai Minh
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Ultracold atoms provide a powerful tool for studying quantum control of interacting many-body systems with well-characterized and controllable Hamiltonians. In this thesis, we demonstrate quantum control of a many-body system consisting of a ferromagnetic spin-1 Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). By tuning the Hamiltonian of the system, we can generate either a phase space with an unstable hyperbolic fixed point or a phase space with an elliptical fixed point. A classical pendulum with a stable oscillation about the "down" position and an inverted pendulum with unstable non-equilibrium dynamics about the "up" position are classical analogs of the quantum spin dynamics we investigate in this thesis. In one experiment, we dynamically stabilize the system about an unstable hyperbolic fixed point, which is similar to stabilizing an inverted pendulum. In a second experiment, we parametrically excite the system by modulating the quadratic Zeeman energy. In addition, we demonstrate rectifier phase control as a new method to manipulate the quantum states of the many-body system. This is similar to parametric excitation and manipulation of the oscillation angle of a classical pendulum. These experiments demonstrate the ability to control a quantum system realized in a spinor BEC, and they also can be applied to other quantum systems. In addition, we extend our studies to atoms above the Bose-Einstein transition temperature, and we present results on thermal spin relaxation processes and equilibrium spin populations.