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Implementation of a Rotationally Symmetric Ring Ion Trap and Coherent Control of Rotational States


In this thesis, I present the design, implementation, and characterization of a novel, rotationally symmetric ion trap. Our compact design creates a toroidal trapping potential for charged atoms that has a radius that is much smaller than the height at which the ions are positioned above the surface of the trap. We trap ions at a height of 385~$\mu$m and a radius of 45~$\mu$m as expected from simulation. We demonstrate that this ring is rotationally symmetric with imperfections in the potential of much less than 3~mK.

With two ions contained in a point Paul trap, we demonstrate the creation of a 100~kHz rotating ring using a rotating quadrupole. By releasing the quadrupole potential, we demonstrate the ability to create superpositions of rotational states using the modulation of the laser light produced by the classical rotation of the crystal in a symmetric potential. Superpositions of rotational states differing by up to four quanta are observed.

With these rotational superpositions, we describe an experiment capable of observing the identical nature of two ions in a Coulomb crystal. By creating a rotational interferometer, one can coherently exchange two particles and observe their interference upon recombination. We describe what this interference signature would be and how particle indistinguishability would affect it. We present experimental efforts towards realizing this exchange and reflect on our unexpectedly short rotational superposition coherence times.

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