Jacob Covey, PhD.

I am a Richard Chace Tolman Prize Postdoc at Caltech. We are currently developing techniques for control and detection of single alkaline-earth atoms in large two-dimensional arrays. This system has applications in quantum information, simulation, and metrology.

Alkaline-earth atoms in large two-dimensional tweezer arrays can be used to engineer many-body states via strong interactions between highly-excited Rydberg states (above). This image shows atomic fluorescence averaged over many realizations (left).

A 2000-frame video of single atoms held in an one-dimensional array of 25 tweezers with ~50% filling fraction. The lifetime of atoms is more than three minutes while "filming" this video. Atom loss happens suddenly from one frame to the next, and they do not reappear. The tweezers are at the magic wavelength for optical clock operation, and this capability allows for continuous measurement of a tweezer-based optical clock.

videoTweezerArray (1).mp4

An one-dimensional array of tweezers generated by an acousto-optic deflector (AOD) being arranged to spell 'CALTECH'. Each subsequent rearrangement step is shown in the vertical direction. Tweezer intensity, not atomic fluorescence, is shown in this image.

We also use liquid crystal spatial light modulators (SLM) and computer generated holograms (CGHs) to construct large two-dimensional tweezer arrays of arbitrary pattern. Tweezer intensity, not atomic fluorescence, is shown in this image.

More recently, we have demonstrated an atomic array optical clock with single-atom readout. This platform allows for low dead times as well as atom-resolved systematic shifts (left). Further, we are engineering Rydberg interactions between optical 'clock' qubits for the first time, and we are already reaching the state of the art in terms of Rydberg coherence.