Click here to download thesis: Sideband Cooling to the Quantum Ground State in a Penning Trap

Title: Sideband cooling to the quantum ground state in a Penning trap


For 35 years, laser-cooled trapped ions have been at the frontier of progress in quantum computing, quantum simulation and precision measurement, and remain one of the most valuable tools in these fields to this day. Most of these experiments are predicated upon or benefit from the ability to place ions in the motional quantum ground state, a technique that was first demonstrated in radiofrequency ion traps 25 years ago. For a range of crucial experiments that are impossible to conduct in radiofrequency traps or are not well suited to this architecture, Penning traps provide an important alternative. However, the performance of Penning traps had been limited by the fact that ground-state cooling was yet to be achieved in such a system.

This thesis reports the first demonstration of resolved-sideband cooling in a Penning trap, for 40Ca+ ions cooled with light at 729-nm, achieving a ground state occupation of 99% in one dimension. Demonstrations of the coherent manipulations possible at this level of confinement are presented. The ion heating rate is measured and although higher than might be expected given the unusually large ion-electrode distance remains amongst the lowest reported in any trap to date. Achieving this result required the development of a number of new experimental systems and major upgrades to the stability and reliability of the experiment, the details of which are also given.

The thesis also presents theoretical work into the use of two-dimensional Coulomb crystals in a Penning trap as a resource for quantum information. Using the symmetries of the crystal, we find that it is possible to engineer complex entangled states, specifically two small quantum error correcting codes, using a very small number of global entangling pulses. Efficient entanglement protocols such as these are vital for the implementation of useful quantum error correction.


Issue Date: March 2015

Supervisor: Thompson, Richard

                    Segal, Danny

Item Type:  Physics PhD Thesis