Suppression of Zeeman Relaxation in Cold Collisions of \(^2P_{1/2}\) Atoms

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Suppression of Zeeman Relaxation in Cold Collisions of \(^2P_{1/2}\) Atoms

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Title: Suppression of Zeeman Relaxation in Cold Collisions of \(^2P_{1/2}\) Atoms
Author: Tscherbul, T.V.; Buchachenko, A.A.; Dalgarno, Alexander; Lu, M.-J.; Weinstein, J.D.

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Citation: Tscherbul, T. V., A. A. Buchachenko, Alexander Dalgarno, M.-J. Lu, J. D. Weinstein. 2009. Suppression of Zeeman relaxation in cold collisions of \(^2P_{1/2}\) atoms. Physical Review A 80:040701(R).
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Abstract: We present a combined experimental and theoretical study of angular momentum depolarization in cold collisions of \(^2P\) atoms in the presence of an external magnetic field. We show that collision-induced Zeeman relaxation of Ga\(^2P_{1/2}\) and In \(^2P_{1/2}\) atoms in cold \(^4\)He gas is dramatically suppressed compared to atoms in \(^2P_{3/2}\) states. Using rigorous quantum-scattering calculations based on ab initio interaction potentials, we demonstrate that Zeeman transitions in collisions of atoms in \(^2P\) electronic states occur via couplings to the \(^2P_{3/2}\) state induced by the anisotropy of the interaction potential. Our results suggest the feasibility of sympatheticthetic cooling and magnetic trapping of \(^2P_{1/2}\)-state atoms, such as halogens, thereby opening up exciting areas of research in precision spectroscopy and cold-controlled chemistry.
Published Version: doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.80.040701
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