Towards the creation of high-fidelity Fock states of neutral atoms
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This dissertation presents the implementation of a technique to generate atomic Fock states of Lithium 6 with ultra-high fidelity, called laser culling. Fock states, atomic states with a definite number of particles, are a mandatory step for studying few-body quantum phenomena such as quantum tunneling, quantum entanglement, and serve as building blocks for quantum simulators. The creation of ultra-high fidelity Fock states begins with a degenerate Fermi gas in an optical dipole trap. Being fermions, lithium-6 atoms fill the energy levels of the dipole trap with 2 atoms per energy level. Introducing a magnetic field gradient creates a linear potential that tilts the potential produced by the optical dipole trap. The initially bound energy levels become quasi-bound states, each with a different lifetime. By exploiting the difference between these lifetimes, one can generate a single pair of atoms in the ground state of the trap with fidelities that can exceed 99.9%. This dissertation first presents the details of the design and construction of an apparatus for laser culling, and then reports on the progress made towards the creation of atomic Fock states with ultra-high fidelity.