PhD defense of A.J. Van Lange MSc

PhD defense: Non-linear optical effects in cold and hot rubidium gases

Look around you. Everything you see is the result of interactions between light and matter. After all, every ray of light entering your eyes has interacted with matter.

And this is not our only source of information that heavily relies on this interaction. Messages sent over the internet travel as packets of light through glass fibre cables, arereceived in the device and converted to an electronic signalusing this interaction. In the future electronic devices might be replaced completely by photonic devices, in which the signal can remain a photon. But even then, the manipulations to the signal must still be performed through light-matter interaction, because photons cannot interact with one another directly. Therefore matter is required to mediate the interaction to alter the signal in the desired way. As photonic chips become smaller and smaller, the interactions approach their fundamental limit. It is therefore important to acquire a fundamental understanding of the interaction between light and matter.

In this thesis, the fundamental building block of matter, the atom, is used to probe this fundamental interaction on the nanoscale. Rubidium atoms are laser cooled, trapped and brought into the field of light confined in nanophotonic samples. The enhanced intensity of the light field due to the confinement causes non-linear effects in the interaction with atoms. To further investigate these non-linearities, experiments of intense laser beams in heated rubidium gases are performed, which show that multiple non-linear effects are required to accurately describe the interaction.

Start date and time
End date and time
University Hall, Domplein 29
PhD candidate
A.J. Van Lange MSc
Non-linear optical effects in cold and hot rubidium gases
PhD supervisor(s)
prof. dr. P. Van der Straten
dr. D. Van Oosten
More information
Open access via Utrecht University Repository