We are building a new experimental apparatus RARE, Rydberg Atoms with Rare Earths. The RARE lab will focus on Rydberg physics with multi-electron atoms as well as on many-body quantum phenomena in a mixture of two highly magnetic lanthanides, Erbium and Dysprosium.
The designing process of our new machine strongly benefited not only from the results of the successfully running ERBIUM machine but also from our tight collaboration with the Er-Team at Harvard University led by Markus Greiner.
We will operate our apparatus simulatneously with the two rare earth species Erbium and Dysprosium, with a magnetic moment of 7µB and 10µB, respectively. These two elements have very similar atomic properties such as melting point, mass and the optical spectrum. The RARE will be able to either operate on a single species (Er or Dy) or to produce dipolar imbalanced Bose-Bose, Bose-Fermi and Fermi-Fermi Er-Dy mixtures.
Multi-electron Rydberg atoms
The rich optical spectrum of lanthanides enables various different two-photon excitation schemes for the excitation of Rydberg atoms, for example via broad or narrow intermediate states. In addition, the unique open 4f-shell of rare earth atoms provides the possibility to excite Rydberg states up to an oribtal angular momentum of 5 utilizing such a simple two-photon excitation. Furthermore, rare earth Rydberg atoms will exhibit similar to alkaline earth Rydberg atoms an optically active core, which might be used for trapping or further manipulation of these atoms.
Our experimental apparatus will provide a precise control over electric fields in order to establish a suitable environment for the Rydberg excitation in thermal or degenerate samples of Erbium atoms.