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Many-body dynamics of laser-driven ultracold atoms in optical lattices

In this thesis I present the experimental studies of the physics of ultracold bosonic ytterbium atoms trapped in an optical lattice, driven on their clock transition.

The existence of this ultranarrow transition is a feature shared by the alkaline-earth like atoms, to which belongs ytterbium. The coherent driving of this transition enables an internal degree of freedom for the atoms without spontaneous emission and is of great interest in the context of metrology and quantum simulation.

Firstly I use the properties of this clock transition to characterize the coherent driving of isolated atoms. Then I use Ramsey spectroscopy to probe the dynamics taking place in unidimensional lattices in the strong interactions regime.

Secondly I present experiments performed on pairs of bosons where the coupling on the ultranarrow transition is adiabatically branched, which leads to a strong suppression of the inelastic collision-induced losses.
This phenomenon is a manifestation of the quantum Zeno effect that restricts the dynamics of the system to a reduced-loss subspace of the total Hilbert space.

Finally I experimentally study the manifestation of the quantum Zeno effect for a many-body system, namely an unidimensional lattice in presence of strong inelastic interactions, resulting in the hindering of the atomic loss dynamics.