#### Date of Award

12-2017

#### Degree Type

Dissertation

#### Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

#### Department

Physics & Astronomy

#### Committee Chair

Francis Robicheaux

#### Committee Member 1

Chris Greene

#### Committee Member 2

Tongcang Li

#### Committee Member 3

Martin Kruczenski

#### Abstract

Quantum mechanics, since its very beginning, has totally changed the way we understand nature. The past hundred years have seen great successes in the application of quantum physics, including atomic spectra, laser technology, condensed matter physics and the remarkable possibility for quantum computing, etc. This thesis is dedicated to a small regime of quantum physics. In the first part of the thesis, I present the studies of atomic quasi-stable states, which refer to those Rydberg states of an atom that are relatively stable in the presence of strong fields. Through spectrally probing the quasi-stable states, series of survival peaks are found. If the quasi-stable electrons were created by ultraviolet (UV) lasers with two different frequencies, the survival peaks could be modulated by continuously changing the phase difference between the UV and the IR laser. The quantum simulation, through directly solving the Schr¨odinger equation, matches the experimental results performed with microwave fields, and our studies should provide a guidance for future experiments. Despite the huge achievements in the application of quantum theory, there are still some fundamental problems that remain unresolved. One of them is the so-called quantum-to-classical transition, which refers to the expectation that the system behaves in a more classical manner when the system size increases. This basic question was not well answered until decoherence theory was proposed, which states that the coherence of a quantum system tends to be destroyed by environmental interruptions. Thus, if a system is well isolated from its environment, it is in principle possible to observe macroscopic quantum coherence. Quite recently, testing quantum principles n the macroscale has become a hot topic due to rapic technological developments. A very promising platform for testing macroscale quantum physics is a laser levitated nanoparticle, and cooling its mechanical motion to the ground state is the first step. In the second part of this thesis, we develop the theory of decoherence for a mesoscopic system’s rotational degrees of freedom. Combining decoherence in the translational degrees of freedom, the system’s shot noise heating is discussed. We then focus on cooling the nanoparticle in the laser-shot-noise-dominant regime using two different feedback cooling schemes: the force feedback cooling and the parametric feedback cooling. Both quantum and classical calculations are performed, and an exact match is observed. We also explore the parameters that could possibly affect the cooling trend, where we find that the cooling limit for both cooling schemes strongly depends on the position measurement efficiency, and it poses good questions for researchers interested in achieving ground state cooling: what is the best measurement efficiency for a given measurement setup and what can be done to get a better measurement efficiency?

#### Recommended Citation

Zhong, Changchun, "The study of atomic quasi-stable states, decoherence and cooling of mesoscale particles" (2017). *Open Access Dissertations*. 1677.

https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/open_access_dissertations/1677