Interaction induced decay of a heteronuclear two-atom system

Peng Xu 1 Jiaheng Yang 2, 1 Min Liu 1 Xiaodong He 1 Yong Zeng 1, 2 Kunpeng Wang 1 Jin Wang 1, 2 D. J. Papoular 3 G. V. Shlyapnikov 4, 5, 1, 6 Mingsheng Zhan 1

Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2015, 6, pp.7803

Two-atom systems in small traps are of fundamental interest, first of all for understanding the role of interactions in degenerate cold gases and for the creation of quantum gates in quantum information processing with single-atom traps. One of the key quantities is the inelastic relaxation (decay) time when one of the atoms or both are in a higher hyperfine state. Here we measure this quantity in a heteronuclear system of $^{87}$Rb and $^{85}$Rb in a micro optical trap and demonstrate experimentally and theoretically the presence of both fast and slow relaxation processes, depending on the choice of the initial hyperfine states. The developed experimental method allows us to single out a particular relaxation process and, in this sense, our experiment is a "superclean platform" for collisional physics studies. Our results have also implications for engineering of quantum states via controlled collisions and creation of two-qubit quantum gates.

  • 1. Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics
  • 2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 3. INO-CNR BEC Center and Dipartimento di Fisica
  • 4. Russian Quantum Center
  • 5. LPTMS - Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques
  • 6. Van der Waals - Zeeman Institute