Nanoscale atom traps based on quantum vacuum forces

28 05/2013

Tuesday, 28 May. 2013, 14:00 - 15:00

Workgroup Rabl Group

Presenter: Darrick CHANG,Theoretical Quantum-Nano-Photonics, ICFO Barcelona
Host: P. Rabl
Where: Atominstitut Hörsaal, Stadionallee 2, 1020 Wien

Abstract: Forces arising from quantum vacuum fluctuations (such as the Casimir or London-van der Waals forces) are often dominant at the nanoscale. In the context of atoms, these forces can easily destabilize the relatively weak trapping potentials imposed by external optical fields near dielectric surfaces. On the other hand, being able to leverage strong quantum vacuum forces for trapping could allow for new opportunities in constructing atom-nanophotonics interfaces and realizing new parameter regimes for ultracold atoms. Here, we describe a novel theoretical concept wherein specially engineered dispersion in nanophotonic systems can enable a mechanism for vacuum force trapping. Ongoing efforts to apply this technique to realistic systems will also be discussed.