Date of Award

Summer 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Mark D. Havey (Director)

Committee Member

Jozef Dudek

Committee Member

Sebastian Kuhn

Committee Member

Steven Pascal

Committee Member

Toza Popovic


Over the past half century, atomic ensembles have been used to create sensors, clocks, and quantum information systems. As these devices become more compact, and as the number of atoms increases to improve the sensitivity for detection, the atomic samples are increasing in density and optical depth. As such, the spectroscopic properties of the atomic media are modified due to interactions among the particles in the ensemble. We report investigation of near-resonance light scattering from a cold atomic sample of 87Rb. Initially prepared in a magneto-optical trap, the atoms are loaded into a far-off-resonance optical dipole trap (FORT) in which the ensemble has a temperature near 100 mK and initial Gaussian radii of approximately 3 mm and 280 mm in the transverse and longitudinal directions, respectively. With atomic densities in the range of 1010 - 1013 atoms/cm3, measurements are made on the F=2 -> F'=3 nearly closed hyperfine transition. The experimental geometry consists of projecting a near-resonance collimated laser beam onto the entire volume of the FORT and detecting the diffusely scattered light. The measured scattered light intensity as a function of detuning, atomic number, and sample size suggests that collective light scattering depends on the optical depth of the system.


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