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The LiHe molecule and other cryogenic oddities

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Thursday, April 16, 2015 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA X317

Speaker Name(s): 

Jonathan Weinstein

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

JILA Visiting Fellow; University of Nevada
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • JILA Public Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

Using a cryogenic helium buffer gas, we cool atoms and molecules to temperatures as low as 1 Kelvin. When lithium atoms are introduced into the helium buffer gas, LiHe molecules rapidly form through three-body recombination. These weakly-bound van der Waals molecules exist in a qualitatively different regime than typical diatomic molecules, a regime accessible only at cold temperatures. 

We have spectroscopically detected the single bound rovibrational state of LiHe, measured its equilibrium thermodynamic properties, and measured its reaction rate coefficient.

Initial measurements of the titanium-helium molecule will also be presented. As time and interest allow, we will also discuss our work on  cold two-body chemical reactions and optical pumping of alkali atoms frozen in solid noble gases and parahydrogen.