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Trapping of atoms on a super-conducting atom chip

Final Activity Report Summary - SUPERCHIP (Trapping of atoms on a superconducting atom chip)

The long term goal of this project is the preparation of single Rydberg atoms on demand. For attaining this goal, one uses the so called dipole blockade effect. It prevents the excitation of two Rydberg atoms from a dense and strongly confined sample of cold atoms. Several important steps in the direction of this goal where performed during the project. A dense sample of cold atoms has been prepared in a cryogenic environment which is needed to prevent reduction of lifetime of Rydberg atoms by blackbody radiation. Bose-Einstein condensation of atoms was obtained for the first time on a superconducting atom chip. A superconducting wire based detector for electrons was also designed and tested.

It efficiently detects single electrons and can be used to detect single Rydberg atoms by ionization. A study of trapping lifetime of cold atoms in a cryogenic environment was also performed. The sensitivity of magnetic trap geometry to permanent supercurrents in the superconducting wires of the atom-chip where also investigated. These studies are essential for manipulating cold atoms close to a superconducting surface.