Date of Award

Winter 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Mark D. Havey

Committee Member

Gail E. Dodge

Committee Member

Charles Sukenik

Committee Member

Anatoly Radyushkin

Committee Member

Mecit Cetin


Recent developments in laser cooling and trapping opened the door to a world full of new opportunities for research in atomic, molecular and optical physics as well as condensed matter physics. It became possible to do experiments under conditions that are hard to achieve in condensed matter systems but recently have been observed in atomic systems. Bose Einstein Condensation, the Mott insulator transition, and superfluidity are examples of such achievements. Another considerable interest to both condensed matter and atomic physics is Anderson localization of light. The localization phenomenon is named after P. W. Anderson who suggested the possibility of localization of electrons in a disordered medium. Localization of light is an interference effect in a disordered medium and there have been a number of observations in different types of media. It has still not been observed in atomic systems in three dimensions. We report experimental results obtained from an ultracold 87Rb gas of atoms near the localization limit from the F=2 to F=3 transition. I will discuss the sample formation, characterization of the sample and the progress made towards achievement of light localization in an ultracold atomic gas, including difficulties which so far have frustrated observation.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).