Inelastic Collisions of Atomic Antimony, Aluminum, Erbium and Thulium below 1 K

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Inelastic Collisions of Atomic Antimony, Aluminum, Erbium and Thulium below 1 K

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dc.contributor.advisor Doyle, John M.
dc.contributor.author Connolly, Colin Bryant
dc.date.accessioned 2012-11-15T16:42:26Z
dc.date.issued 2012-11-15
dc.date.submitted 2012
dc.identifier.other http://dissertations.umi.com/gsas.harvard:10517 en
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:9909637
dc.description.abstract Inelastic collision processes driven by anistropic interactions are investigated below 1 K. Three distinct experiments are presented. First, for the atomic species antimony (Sb), rapid relaxation is observed in collisions with \(^4He\). We identify the relatively large spin-orbit coupling as the primary mechanism which distorts the electrostatic potential to introduce significant anisotropy to the ground \(^4S_{3/2}\) state. The collisions are too rapid for the experiment to fix a specific value, but an upper bound is determined, with the elastic-to-inelastic collision ratio \(\gamma \leq 9.1 x 10^2\). In the second experiment, inelastic \(\mathcal{m}_J\)-changing and \(J\)-changing transition rates of aluminum (Al) are measured for collisions with \(^3He\). The experiment employs a clean method using a single pump/probe laser to measure the steady-state magnetic sublevel population resulting from the competition of optical pumping and inelastic collisions. The collision ratio \(\gamma\) is measured for both \(\mathcal{m}_J\)- and \(J\)-changing processes as a function of magnetic field and found to be in agreement with the theoretically calculated dependence, giving support to the theory of suppressed Zeeman relaxation in spherical \(^2P_{1/2}\) states [1]. In the third experiment, very rapid atom-atom relaxation is observed for the trapped lanthanide rare-earth atoms erbium (Er) and thulium (Tm). Both are nominally nonspherical \((L \neq 0)\) atoms that were previously observed to have strongly suppressed electronic interaction anisotropy in collisions with helium \((\gamma > 10^4-10^5, [2,3])\). No suppression is observed in collisions between these atoms \((\gamma \lesssim 10)\), which likely implies that evaporative cooling them in a magnetic trap will be impossible. Taken together, these studies reveal more of the role of electrostatic anisotropy in cold atomic collisions. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Physics en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dash.license LAA
dc.subject aluminum en_US
dc.subject antimony en_US
dc.subject buffer-gas cooling en_US
dc.subject erbium en_US
dc.subject inelastic collisions en_US
dc.subject thulium en_US
dc.subject physics en_US
dc.subject atomic physics en_US
dc.title Inelastic Collisions of Atomic Antimony, Aluminum, Erbium and Thulium below 1 K en_US
dc.type Thesis or Dissertation en_US
dash.depositing.author Connolly, Colin Bryant
dc.date.available 2012-11-15T16:42:26Z
thesis.degree.date 2012 en_US
thesis.degree.discipline Physics en_US
thesis.degree.grantor Harvard University en_US
thesis.degree.level doctoral en_US
thesis.degree.name Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMember Ketterle, Wolfgang en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMember Lukin, Mikhail en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMember Morii, Masahiro en_US

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