We plan to investigate the generation and the manipulation of atom entanglement by exploiting the variety of methods for atom optics. In the experiment, we will achieve the detection of freely propagating atoms with certainty on the single-atom level and develop a quantum tweezer to extract a certain number of atoms from a Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) chip. We start with a BEC chip, from which, we can extract a definite number of atoms at will with a quantum tweezer, which may be generated by a focus beam of red-detuned laser light on the chip.
Experimentally, the quantum tweezer is turned on adiabatically inside the BEC chip and moved out of the BEC chip at a certain speed so that a desired number of atoms are extracted. In order to achieve the detection of single atoms in free space, we will exploit the interaction between the probe laser sheet and atoms. Since the interaction time between the exciting laser and the atoms extracted from BEC chip is long enough, the spontaneous emission photon at high rate will be sufficient to discriminate the presence of individual atoms. We will develop a lens construction with high number aperture to collect the photons scattered from a probe laser sheet. In this way, it will enable us to detect and determine the exact number of up to a few atoms with certainty. After having successfully extracted and detected single atoms, we will extract two atoms out of BEC chip and switch off the quantum tweezer non-adiabatically.
The two atoms will decay along some pairs of correlated direction due to the momentum conservation and atom collision. Specially, we will exploit the variety of methods for atom optics to guide and split each atom only along two specific pairs of directions such that the two atoms will be efficiently entangled in the momentum space. Finally, we shall carry out observation of entanglement by combining the atoms along two specific directions at the atomic beam splitters.
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