5. Physikalisches Institut

Hauptseminar: WS14/15: Rydberg Physics






Hauptseminar WS 14/15:
Rydberg Physics




The field of Rydberg physics is connected to a wide range of research topics. Starting from basic research and understanding of interactions between atoms all the way to applications in microwave electric field sensors. The goal of this seminar is to first give an introduction to this interesting field of research, but also to get a sophisticated understanding for the key features of Rydberg atoms, that make them a unique system for basic research and also a good candidate for applications e.g. in quantum information technologies.


  • In collaboration with Prof. Büchler
  • WS 2014/15
  • Time:  Thu, 15:45
  • Location: PWR 57, room 3.123
  • contact:

Course requirements (Bedingungen für den Schein)

  • This seminar is in English. This includes the talk, discussions, and the summary paper
  • Attend all seminar classes
  • Timely and intensive study of your own topic. The suggested literature for each topic serves as a starting point and is NOT sufficient. Independent literature search is required.
  • Presentation of your topic in the seminar, duration 45 minutes
  • Written summary paper on your topic (4 pages "PRL style" using LaTeX)
  • The following deadlines have to be met to successfully complete this class. You are responsible to organize the meetings with the class supervisors!
    • 4 weeks before your talk: Discussion with your supervisor AFTER finding & reading the literature
    • 2 weeks before your talk: test talk
    • 4 weeks after your talk: Hand-in of your summary paper






    HS 57.03

      General information event (Vorbesprechung)
    • Presentation of all the seminars available in WS2014/15 and SS2015
    • Sign up for seminars




    Organizational Meeting (Treffen zur Organisation)

    • Assignment of talks
    • Find a preliminary day and time for the seminar
    • Define preliminary schedule
    • ...




    Organizational Meeting (Treffen zur Organisation)

    • Verify Schedule
    • ...

    Talk schedule:

    29.10.14 Manfred Beutel 1. Introduction into Rydberg Physics (talk|paper) T. Liebisch
    20.11.14 Daniel Dizdarevic 2. Calculation of Rydberg wave function and Ryd-Ryd potentials (talk|paper) S. Hofferberth
    27.11.14 Teresa Schaller 3. Rydberg detection (talk|paper) H. Kübler
    04.12.14 Felix Engel 4. Interactions (talk|paper|paper long) T. Pfau
    11.12.14 Helmut Frasch 6. Rydberg atoms + cavity QED (talk|paper) R. Löw
    18.12.14 Nicklas Liebermann 7. Rydberg Quantum Computer / Information processing (talk|paper|paper long) T. Pfau
    15.01.15 Josephine Gutekunst 9. Rydberg Blockade Effects (talk|paper) H. Kübler
    15.01.15 Marcel Klett 10. Rydberg Polaritons, Rydberg EIT (talk|paper) P. Bienias
    22.01.15 Lukas Oberreiter 11. Rydberg Quantum Optics I T. Liebisch
    29.01.15 Henri Menke 13. Rydberg Quantum simulation: Ground state preparation by master equation P. Bienias
    05.02.15 Michael Oechsle 14. Rydberg molecules and BEC T. Liebisch
    12.02.15 Mathias Uhl 15. Rydberg Semiclassics R. Löw




    Possible topics

    We will discuss 12 out of the following topics:

    • 1. Introduction into Rydberg Physics
      Supervisor: T. Liebisch
      • How to create Rydberg atoms (laser excitation, recombination, ...)
      • Energy levels in hydrogen vs. alkali atoms: Quantum defect theory
      • Stark map: Rydberg atoms in electric fields
      • Lifetime of Rydberg states and black body radiation

      • R. Löw, H. Weimer, J. Nipper, J. B. Balewski, B. Butscher, H. P. Büchler, and T. Pfau
        "An experimental and theoretical guide to strongly interacting Rydberg gases"
        J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 45, 113001 (2012); doi: 10.1088/0953-4075/45/11/113001
      • T. Gallagher
        "Rydberg Atoms"
        Cambridge (1994)
      • J. Choi, B. Knuffman, T. Liebisch, A. Reinhard and G. Raithel
        "Cold Rydberg Atoms"
        Advances in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics vol.54 ch.3
      • H. Metcalf
        "Highly Excited Atoms"
        Nature 284, 127 (1980)
    • 2. Calculation of Rydberg wave function and Ryd-Ryd potentials
      Supervisor: S. Hofferberth
      • Atomic potentials
      • Interaction potentials
      • Numerical methods

      • M. Marinescu, H.R. Sadeghpour and A. Dalgarno
        "Dispersion coefficients for alkali-metal dimers"
        Phys. Rev. A, 49, 982-988 (1994)
      • M.L. Zimmerman, M.G. Littman, M.M. Kash and D. Kleppner
        "Stark structure of the Rydberg states of alkali-metal atoms"
        Phys. Rev. A, 20, 2251-2275 (1979)
      • K. Singer, J. Stanojevic, M. Weidemueller and R. Cote
        "Long-range interactions between alkali Rydberg atom pairs correlated to the ns–ns, np–np and nd–nd asymptotes"
        J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys., 38, S295 (2005)
      • A. Schwettmann, J. Crawford, K.R. Overstreet and J.P. Shaffer
        "Cold Cs Rydberg-gas interactions"
        Phys. Rev. A, 74, 020701 (2006)
    • 3. Rydberg detection
      Supervisor: H. Kübler
      • Rydberg EIT
      • Field ionization
      • electrical readout in thermal samples

      • A.K. Mohapatra, T.R. Jackson and C.S. Adams
        "Coherent Optical Detection of Highly Excited Rydberg States Using Electromagnetically Induced Transparency"
         Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 113003 (2007)
      • T. Gallagher
        "Rydberg Atoms"
        Cambridge (1994)
      • D. Barredo, H. Kübler, R. Daschner, R. Löw, T. Pfau
        "Electrical read out for coherent phenomena involving Rydberg atoms in thermal vapor cells"
        Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 123002 (2013); arXiv:1209.6550; doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.123002
    • 4. Interactions
      Supervisor: T. Pfau
      • Van-der-Waals
      • Förster
      • energy transport

      •  T. Gallagher
        "Rydberg Atoms"
        Cambridge (1994)
        " "
      • G. Günter, H. Schempp, M. Robert-de-Saint-Vincent, V. Gavryusev, S. Helmrich, C.S. Hofmann, S. Whitlock, M. Weidemüller
        "Observing the Dynamics of Dipole-Mediated Energy Transport by Interaction-Enhanced Imaging"
        Science  342 (6161), 954-956
    • 5. Microwave Interaction
      Supervisor: H. Kübler
      • sensing (field amplitude, vector sensing)
      • dressing
      • superradiance

      • J. Sedlacek, A. Schwettmann, H. Kübler, R. Löw, T. Pfau, J.P. Shaffer
        "Quantum Assisted Electrometry using Bright Atomic Resonances"
        Nature Physics 8, 819–824 (2012); doi:
      • J. A. Sedlacek, A. Schwettmann, H. Kübler and J. P. Shaffer
        "Atom-Based Vector Microwave Electrometry Using Rubidium Rydberg Atoms in a Vapor Cell"
        Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 063001 (2013); doi:
      • M. Tanasittikosol, J.D. Pritchard, D. Maxwell, A. Gauguet, K.J. Weatherill, R.M. Potvliege and C.S. Adams
        "Microwave dressing of Rydberg dark states"
        J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 44, 184020; doi:
      • C. Carr, R. Ritter, C.G. Wade, C.S. Adams, and K.J. Weatherill
        "Nonequilibrium Phase Transition in a Dilute Rydberg Ensemble"
        Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 113901; doi:
    • 6. Rydberg atoms + cavity QED
      Supervisor: R. Löw
      • Coupling to Cavity

      •  M. Brune, F. Schmidt-Kaler, A. Maali, J. Dreyer, E. Hagley, J. M. Raimond, S. Haroche
        "Quantum Rabi Oscillation: A Direct Test of Field Quantization in a Cavity"
        Phys. Rev. Lett. 76, 1800 (1996)
        " "
        " "
    • 7. Rydberg Quantum Computer / Information processing
      Supervisor: T. Pfau
      • Rydberg quantum gate
      •  Fidelity
      •  State tomography

      •  D. Jaksch, J.I. Cirac, P. Zoller, S.L. Rolston, R. Cote, M.D. Lukin
        "Fast Quantum Gates for Neutral Atoms"
         Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 2208 (2000)
      •  L. Isenhower, E. Urban, X.L. Zhang, A.T. Gill, T. Henage, T.A. Johnson, T.G. Walker, M. Saffman
        "Demonstration of a Neutral Atom Controlled-NOT Quantum Gate"
        Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 010503
      •  M. Saffman, T. Walker and K. Molmer
        "Quantum information with Rydberg atoms"
        Rev. Mod. Phys. 82, 2313
    • 8. Quantum Critical behavior in Rydberg states
      Supervisor: P. Bienias
      •  classical and quantum phase transitions
      •  universal scaling
      •  critical exponent
      • effective spin Hamiltonian
      • mean field theory
      • analogy with ferromagnet

      •  H. Weimer, R. Löw, T. Pfau, H.P. Büchler
        "Quantum Critical Behavior in Strongly Interacting Rydberg Gases"
         Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 250601
      •  R. Löw, H. Weimer, U. Krohn, R. Heidemann, V. Bendkovsky, B. Butscher, H. Büchler, T. Pfau
        " Universal scaling in a strongly interacting Rydberg gas"
         Phys. Rev. A 80, 033422
      •  B. Olmos, R. González-Férez, I. Lesanovsky
        " Collective Rydberg excitations of an atomic gas confined in a ring lattice"
        Phys. Rev. A 79, 043419
      •  M. Saffman, T. Walker and K. Molmer
        " Quantum information with Rydberg atoms"
        Rev. Mod. Phys. 82, 2313
    • 9. Rydberg Blockade Effects
      Supervisor: H. Kübler
      • superatoms
      • ordered states in ultracold Rydberg samples
      • aggregation in thermal samples

      • R. Heidemann, U. Raitzsch, V. Bendkowsky, B. Butscher, R. Löw, L. Santos, T. Pfau
        "Evidence for Coherent Collective Rydberg Excitation in the Strong Blockade Regime"
         Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 163601 (2007)
      • R. Heidemann, U. Raitzsch, V. Bendkowsky, B. Butscher, R. Löw, L. Santos, T. Pfau
        "Evidence for Coherent Collective Rydberg Excitation in the Strong Blockade Regime"
         Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 163601 (2007)
      • E. Urban, T.A. Johnson, T. Henage, L. Isenhower, D.D. Yavuz, T.G. Walker,  M. Saffman
        "Observation of Rydberg blockade between two atoms"
         Nature Physics 5, 110 - 114 (2009)
      • A. Gaëtan, Y. Miroshnychenko, T. Wilk, A. Chotia, M. Viteau, D. Comparat, P. Pillet, A. Browaeys, P. Grangier
        "Observation of collective excitation of two individual atoms in the Rydberg blockade regime"
        Nature Physics 5, 115 - 118 (2009)
      • P. Schauß, M. Cheneau, M. Endres, T. Fukuhara, S. Hild, A. Omran, T. Pohl, C. Gross, S. Kuhr, I. Bloch
        "Observation of spatially ordered structures in a two-dimensional Rydberg gas"
         Nature 491, 87–91 (2012)
      • A. Urvoy
        " "
        to be published
    • 10. Rydberg Polaritons, Rydberg EIT
      P. Bienias
      • Electromagnetically Induced Transparency (EIT)
      • dark state polaritons
      • strong interaction between polaritons as a consequence of Rydberg state in the EIT scheme
      • non-classical states of light: train of single-photon pulses
      • two-photon bound state

      •  M. Fleischhauer, A. Imamoglu, J.P. Marangos
        "Electromagnetically induced transparency: Optics in coherent media"
         Rev. Mod. Phys. 77, 633
      •  A.A. Gorshkov, J. Otterbach, M. Fleischhauer, T. Pohl, M. Lukin
        "Photon -Photon Interactions via Rydberg Blockade"
         Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 133602
      •  M. Fleischhauer, M. Lukin
        "Dark-state polaritons in electromagnetically induced transparency"
         Phys. rev. Lett. 84, 5094
      •  T. Peyronel, O. Firstenberg, Q.-Y. Liang, S. Hofferberth, A.V. Gorshkov, T. Pohl, M.D. Lukin, V. Vuletic,
        "Quantum nonlinear optics with single photons enabled by strongly interacting atoms"
         Nature 488, 57
      •  O. Firstenberg, T. Peyronel, Q.-Y. Liang, A.V. Gorshkov, M. D. Lukin and V. Vuletic
        "Attractive photons in a quantum nonlinear medium"
        Nature 502, 71
      •  P. Bienias, S. Choi, O. Firstenberg, M.F. Maghrebi, M. Gullans, M.D. Lukin, A.V. Gorshkov and H.P. Büchler
        "Scattering resonances and bound states for strongly interacting Rydberg polaritons"
    • 11. Rydberg Quantum Optics I
      Supervisor: T. Liebisch
      • single photon source

      • M. Saffman and T.G. Walker
        Creating single-atom and single-photon sources from entangled atomic ensembles
        Phys. Rev. A 66, 065403
      • P. Goy, J. M. Raimond, M. Gross and S. Haroche
        Observation of Cavity-Enhanced Single-Atom Spontaneous Emission
        Phys. Rev. Lett. 50, 1903
      • Y.O. Dudin and A. Kuzmich
        Observation of Cavity-Enhanced Single-Atom Spontaneous Emission
        Science 336 (2012)
    • 12. Rydberg Quantum Optics II
      Supervisor: H. Kübler
      • single photon absorber
      • single photon transistor
      • Rydberg amplifier

      • Vuletic
        " "
      • Hofferberth
        " "
        " "

    • 13. Rydberg Quantum simulation: Ground state preparation by master equation
      Supervisor:P. Bienias
      •  universal quantum simulator
      •  open quantum systems
      •  quantum master equation
      • dissipative state preparation

      •  H. Weimer, M. Müller, I. Lesanovsky, P. Zoller, H. P. Büchler
        "A Rydberg quantum simulator"
         Nature Physics 6, 382
      •  H. Weimer, M. Müller, H. P. Büchler, I. Lesanovsky
        "Digital quantum simulation with Rydberg atoms"
         Quantum Inf. Process. 10, 885
      •  H. Weimer
        "Quantum many-body physics with strongly interacting Rydberg atoms"
         Doktorarbeit, University of Stuttgart (2010)
    • 14. Rydberg molecules and BEC
      Supervisor: T. Liebisch
      • new binding mechanism
      • electric fields
      • D-states
      • BEC shape change

      • V. Bendkowsky, B. Butscher, J. Nipper, J.P. Shaffer, R. Löw and T. Pfau
        "Oberservation of ultralong-range Rydberg molecules"
        Nature 458, 1005 (2009); doi: 10.1038/nature07945
      • C.H. Green, A.S. Dickenson and H.R. Sadeghpour
        "Creation of polar and nonplar ultra-long-range Rydberg molecules"
         Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 2458
      • J.B. Balewski, A.T. Krupp, A. Gaj, D. Peter, H.P. Büchler, R. Löw, S. Hofferberth and T. Pfau
        "Coupling a single electron to a Bose-Einstein condensate"
        Nature 502, 664 (2013)
      • T. Karpiuk, M. Brewczyk, K. Rzążewski, J.B. Balewski, A.T. Krupp, A. Gaj, R. Löw, S. Hofferberth and T. Pfau
        "Detecting and imaging single Rydberg electrons in a Bose-Einstein condensate"
        arXiv: 1402.6875
    • 15. Rydberg Semiclassics
      Supervisor: R. Löw
      •  Classical orbit
      •  Rutherford atom
      •  Bohr-like wave packets

      •  J.J. Mestayer, B. Wyker, J.C. Lancaster, F.B. Dunning, C.O. Reinhold, S. Yoshida and J. Burgdorfer
        "Realization of localized Bohr-like wave packets"
         Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 243004 (2008)
      •  H. Maeda, D.V.L. Norum, T.F. Gallagher
        "Microwave Manipulation of an Atomic Electron in a Classical Orbit"
        Science 307 (5716), 1757 (2005)
      •  D.M. Villeneuve
        "Toward Creating a Rutherford Atom"
        Science 307 (5716), 1730 (2005)

    Mandatory topic (has to be covered by someone)                                             Theory topic

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