Dr Mike Tarbutt (Imperial College London)
Dr S.L.Cornish  (Durham Univeristy)

An ultracold gas of Yb-Cs molecules in an optical lattice - a toolbox for quantum simulation

The creation of the first Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC) in 1995 was not only a confirmation of the Bose-Einstein statistics at ultracold temperatures, but also sparked a tremendous experimental effort to investigate and manipulate such systems. It was quickly realised that the inherent quantum degeneracy of a BEC could be exploited in tests of fundamental laws of physics, precision measurements and quantum information processing. These successes in cooling atoms led to an increased interest in the properties of molecules at ultracold temperatures.

 Most experimental efforts on cooling molecules are currently focussing on how to produce cold molecules reliably. In my experiment I am working towards binding Lithium and Ytterbium together over a Feshbach resonance. Having started with an empty optical table, I am currently assembling my vacuum system for the Zeeman slower and Magento-Optical trap (MOT). Furthermore I am tuning the 399 nm laser system that is required to slow Ytterbium. In the following month we hope to trap Ytterbium and subsequently Lithium in the MOT. Achieving this we can focus on trapping them simultaneously. The next step will be to find a Feshbach resonance and create the molecule.

Lithium-Ytterbium at ultracold temperature should have several features to investigate. It’s strong dipole moment should lead to significant dipole-dipole interactions. We also plan to inject the molecule into an optical lattice to investigate the quantum chemical interactions.”