Novel Applications of Buffer-Gas Cooling to Cold Atoms, Diatomic Molecules, and Large Molecules
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CitationDrayna, Garrett Korda. 2016. Novel Applications of Buffer-Gas Cooling to Cold Atoms, Diatomic Molecules, and Large Molecules. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractCold gases of atoms and molecules provide a system for the exploration of a diverse set of physical phenomena. For example, cold gasses of magnetically and electrically polar atoms and molecules are ideal systems for quantum simulation and quantum computation experiments, and cold gasses of large polar molecules allow for novel spectroscopic techniques. Buffer-gas cooling is a robust and widely applicable method for cooling atoms and molecules to temperatures of approximately 1 Kelvin. In this thesis, I present novel applications of buffer-gas cooling to obtaining gases of trapped, ultracold atoms and diatomic molecules, as well as the study of the cooling of large organic molecules. In the first experiment of this thesis, a buffer-gas beam source of atoms is used to directly load a magneto-optical trap. Due to the versatility of the buffer-gas beam source, we obtain trapped, sub-milliKelvin gases of four different lanthanide species using the same experimental apparatus. In the second experiment of this thesis, a buffer-gas beam is used as the initial stage of an experiment to directly laser cool and magneto-optically trap the diatomic molecule CaF. In the third experiment of this thesis, buffer-gas cooling is used to study the cooling of the conformational state of large organic molecules. We directly observe conformational relaxation of gas-phase 1,2-propanediol due to cold collisions with helium gas. Lastly, I present preliminary results on a variety of novel applications of buffer-gas cooling, such as mixture analysis, separation of chiral mixtures, the measurement of parity-violation in chiral molecules, and the cooling and spectroscopy of highly unstable reaction intermediates.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:26718757
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