ML4Q associated member Nina Stiesdal is featured by the German Physical Society (DPG) this week in Physikerin der Woche. Since January 2018, the working group on equal opportunities of the DPG highlights weekly women in physics in Germany or German women in physics abroad.
Nina was a Ph.D. student at the University of Southern Denmark (she was enrolled as a student in Denmark until the end of February 2022), where she has worked for most of her Ph.D. in experimental quantum optics. In May last year, she moved with her her supervisor, Sebastian Hofferberth, to the University of Bonn. Last week, she successfully defended her thesis and will receive her Ph.D. diploma soon.
The focus of her Ph.D. research has been the experimental manipulation of weak pulses of light on the quantum level. This is realized experimentally with ultracold atoms, which are excited to Rydberg states. Rydberg states are highly excited atomic states with very interesting properties. One of these properties is that these atomic states are very sensitive to other high excitations. This sensitivity gives rise to strong interactions between Rydberg excitations, and they can translate these excitations back to the single light quanta.
In her project, she has mainly worked with single Rydberg excitations, but in a setting where the single Rydberg excitation is shared between many atoms. The shared excitation gives rise to an enhancement of atom-light coupling, and she uses this to create what they call Rydberg superatoms, which are many atoms acting together as single two-level systems. You can read more about her research here.
Visit the DPG website for more female physicists’ highlighs.