Bridging the THz Gap using Rydberg Atoms Lucy Downes 1st Year Talk


June 21, 2017

Speakers: Lucy Downes


Durham University

About this event

This event will be held 13:00 - 14:00, in PH30

THz (or sub-mm) radiation lies on the EM spectrum between the IR and microwave regions. It has promising applications ranging from biomedicine and chemistry to defence and security. However a lack of easily available high power sources (>1mW) and convenient detection methods mean there is far less technological exploitation of radiation in this region (the so-called THz Gap) [1]. 
Alkali Rydberg atoms, having high sensitivity to EM radiation and atomic transitions  spanning the THz gap, make promising THz detectors.
Recent work in Durham [2] showed that Rydberg atoms could be used to image a single frequency THz field in real time, and relate the field strength directly to SI units. This method is now of
considerable interest in academia and industry as a possible new quantum technology [3].  This talk will outline the way in which Rydberg atoms can function as THz detectors and describe recent extensions to the previous work.
[1] C. Sirtori, Nature 417, 132-133 (9 May 2002)  
[2] C. Wade et al, Nature Photonics 11, 40–43 (2017)  

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