Electronically Excited Cold Ion Crystals
Physical Review Letters 108 023003 (2012)
W. B. Li and I. Lesanovsky
Abstract: The laser excitation of an ion crystal to high-lying and long-lived electronic states is a genuine many-body process even if in fact only a single ion is excited. This is a direct manifestation of the strong coupling between internal and external dynamics and becomes most apparent in the vicinity of a structural phase transition. Here we show that utilizing highly excited states offers a new approach to the coherent manipulation of ion crystals. This opens up a new route towards the creation of nonclassical motional states in a Paul trap and permits the study of quantum phenomena that rely on a strong coupling between electronic and vibrational dynamics.