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Phonon Lasing and Cooling with Combs


For laser cooling species that bind their valence electrons tightly, the light needed to work with them is often in the UV part of the spectrum, where laser light is difficult to produce and manage.  We have pursued some new avenues in an attempt to address this problem.  First, we will discuss how optical frequency combs may be employed to ease the creation of short-wavelength light and applied to 2-photon transitions efficiently, a scheme that is designed for laser cooling neutral atoms of hydrogen and carbon.  For trapped ions, we find that, when illuminated by a comb, trapped ions can behave as a phonon laser whose gain saturation protects them from being boiled out of the trap by the hundreds of blue-detuned comb teeth present.  I will also describe work with barium ions, the species with the longest-wavelength transitions among the obvious choices. I will discuss why creating a particular radioactive isotope endows Ba+ with the atomic structure advantages of more-difficult species and position it as a flexible, easy to use, all purpose qubit.