Rydberg atom wavepacket dynamics in one and two-dimensions
Dunning, F. B.
Doctor of Philosophy
Atoms in high-lying Rydberg states with large values of principal quantum number n, n ≥300, form a valuable laboratory in which to explore the control and manipulation of quantum states of mesoscopic size using carefully tailored sequences of short electric field pulses whose characteristic times (duration and/or rise/fall times) are less than the classical electron orbital period. Atoms react to such pulse sequences very differently than to short laser or microwave pulses providing the foundation for a number of new approaches to engineering atomic wavefunctions. The remarkable level of control that can be achieved is illustrated with reference to the generation of localized wavepackets in Bohr-like near-circular orbits, and the production of non-dispersive wavepackets under periodic driving and their transport to targeted regions of phase space. New protocols continue to be developed that will allow even tighter control with the promise of new insights into quantum-classical correspondence, information storage in mesoscopic systems, physics in the ultra-fast ultra-intense regime, and non-linear dynamics in driven systems.