Large Spin Relaxation Rates in Trapped Submerged-Shell Atoms

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Large Spin Relaxation Rates in Trapped Submerged-Shell Atoms

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Title: Large Spin Relaxation Rates in Trapped Submerged-Shell Atoms
Author: Connolly, Colin Bryant; Au, Yat Shan; Doret, S. Charles; Ketterle, Wolfgang; Doyle, John M.

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Citation: Connolly, Colin B., Yat Shan Au, S. Charles Doret, Wolfgang Ketterle, and John M. Doyle. 2010. Large spin relaxation rates in trapped submerged-shell atoms. Physical Review A 81(1): 010702.
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Abstract: Spin relaxation due to atom–atom collisions is measured for magnetically trapped erbium and thulium atoms at a temperature near 500 mK. The rate constants for Er–Er and Tm–Tm collisions are 3.0×10\(^{-10}\) and 1.1×10\(^{-10}\) cm\(^3\) s\(^{-1}\), respectively, 2–3 orders of magnitude larger than those observed for highly magnetic S-state atoms. This is strong evidence for an additional, dominant, spin relaxation mechanism, electronic interaction anisotropy, in collisions between these “submerged-shell,” L≠0 atoms. These large spin relaxation rates imply that evaporative cooling of these atoms in a magnetic trap will be highly inefficient.
Published Version: doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.81.010702
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