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Trapped laser-cooled molecules for quantum science

December 2, 2019 - 11:00am
John Doyle
Harvard University

Due to the controllable complexity of cold polar molecules - in particular the body frame fixed electric dipole of polar molecules - they are a potentially powerful platform for quantum simulation. This has led to significant efforts to control molecules at the quantum level. We report on laser cooling and trapping of molecules and the creation of optical tweezer arrays of ultracold CaF molecules in a single quantum state. We have also conducted collision studies using optical tweezers, demonstrating the potential for exploring state-selective ultra-cold quantum chemistry on a molecule by molecule basis. These methods can be extended beyond diatomic molecules to polyatomic molecules, which have yet additional features advantageous for quantum computation and precision measurement. In the realm of quantum computing have advanced a scheme for quantum computation using symmetric top molecules in optical tweezers. We will give a brief report on the possible achievable fidelity of this new, potentially very powerful quantum information platform. We will also discuss progress toward laser cooling of polyatomic molecules such as CaOH, YbOH and YbOCH$_3$, and their potential use in experiments, including precision searches for new particles, beyond the standard model.


Short Biography

 John Doyle, Henry B. Silsbee Professor of Physics, Harvard University, grew up in the U.S. and received his bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in 1986. After he obtained his Ph.D. degree from, and a short postdoc at, M.I.T., he was appointed as an assistant professor of physics at Harvard University in 1993. John Doyle's research centers on using cold molecules for science ranging from particle physics to bio-analysis to quantum information. Starting with the development a new technique for producing heavy, polar radical molecules in an intense beam, he launched with collaborators searches for physics beyond the Standard Model (BSM) through probing for the electron electric dipole moment. His group also studies fundamental collisional processes in atoms and molecules and develop tools to achieve full quantum control over increasingly complex molecular systems. He is working to realize new techniques to trap and study processes in polyatomic molecules. The Doyle group has pioneered a general technique for cooling and loading atoms and molecules into traps and was the first to laser cool a polyatomic molecule. The group is currently working to put these complex quantum objects into an optical array in order to pursue quantum simulation protocols as well as improve searches for BSM particles. He is the co-Director of the Harvard Quantum Initiative, director of the Japanese Undergraduate Research Exchange Program (JUREP), and co-director of the Harvard/MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms. He has published papers in the areas of ultracold atoms, molecules, spectroscopy, precision measurement, neutrons, and dark matter detection and supervised the PhDs of over thirty students. He is a Humboldt, Fulbright, and American Physical Society Fellow. 


ATL 2400