Rebecca Thayil

Physics - Prof. Michael Noel

The purpose of the lab is to study the behavior of the Rydberg state of rubidium atoms.  Atoms in the Rydberg state demonstrate very particular properties such as exaggerated polarization due to the outermost electron's distance from the rest of the atom.  In order to study them, they are trapped and cooled and then excited by lasers.  The behaviors demonstrated by Rydberg atoms may lead to progress in the realm of quantum computing and a greater understanding of quantum mechanics.  I will be adding to the infrastructure of the lab by setting up an saturated absorption spectrometer which will be used to precisely characterize lasers, to test various circuits used to lock the lasers, and eventually to test and compare a new design of laser and circuit.  If the newer circuits and lasers are found to be more accurate, they will greatly add to the goal of the lab's study.