Undergraduate Research Projects -- 2012-2013 -- Martin Group
UW undergraduates have designed, built, and tested much of the
unique experimental apparatus we use in our
research program .
For example, to the right is a prototype external
diode laser system built by J. Keller, an undergraduate student
working in our group. These diode lasers are used to cool rubidium atoms to 100 microkelvin above absolute zero.
There are currently several Fourth Year Projects (Phys 437)
available for students interested in experimental laser physics.
These projects provide valuable experience in a variety of practical
areas (vacuum technology, machining, electronics, optics etc...) and an exposure to modern experimental physics.
We constantly have ideas for new projects, so it is best to get in contact. However, the following listing gives an idea of the types of projects:
- Design of a microwave "ring resonator" for quantum control. Our group is interested a variety of experiments which use microwaves to tailor the quantum energy level structure of rubidium atoms to make coherent superpositions less sensitive to perturbing fields. Critical to these experiments is the ability to precisely make homogeneous microwave fields within a vacuum chamber. One way to accomplish this is with a "resonator". The student would design and test a resonator for this purpose.
- An autobalancing photodiode circuit. One of the major challenges in our work is stabilizing laser frequencies. Many of the drifts in our frequency stabilization schemes can be reduced by subtracting a "reference" photodiode current from our "signal" current. These circuits normally must be manually "balanced", and still remain sensitive to drift (although less so). A
sophisticated technique exists for electronically autobalancing two photodiode signals. We have built some prototypes of these circuits, but do not have any conclusive data on their performance yet. The student would characterize and refine these circuits. This is a great project for someone interested in analog electronics.
- Use of Linux real time patch for experiment control. When loading our atom chip we have to turn on and off a variety of lasers, RF pulses etc... at precise times. We have traditionally used dedicated hardware for this timing. However the low latencies of the CONFIG_PREEMPT_RT linux kernel patch should make it possible to move much of this timing over to software control. As an initial step we would like to generate precise timing sequences on a PCI radiofrequency generator card. The student's project would implement this and try it out in an experiment on the apparatus.
This is a project for someone who likes hardware control and programming.
- Quantum control of Rydberg atoms
I am interested in the quantum control of atoms, and have several ideas in this area that I would like to pursue theoretically (at least initially). If you would like the opportunity to do theoretical calculations in our "experimental" group, please contact me. This could be very rewarding, as we know (or think we know) what things are worth calculating!
March 17, 2017
J. D. D. Martin
you are number 6