Rydberg blockade effects at n∼300 in strontium
Zhang, X.; Dunning, F.B.; Yoshida, S.; Burgdörfer, J.
Rydberg blockade at n∼300, is examined using strontium nF31 Rydberg atoms excited in an atomic beam in a small volume defined by two tightly focused crossed laser beams. The observation of blockade for such states is challenging due to their extreme sensitivity to stray fields and the many magnetic sublevels associated with F states which results in a high local density of states. Nonetheless, with a careful choice of laser polarization to selectively excite only a limited number of these sublevels, sizable blockade effects are observed on an ∼0.1 mm length scale extending blockade measurements into the near-macroscopic regime and enabling study of the dynamics of strongly coupled many-body high-n Rydberg systems under carefully controlled conditions.