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Traveling-Wave Stark-Decelerated Molecular Beams for Cold Collision Experiments

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Friday, November 15, 2013 - 1:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA X317

Speaker Name(s): 

Noah Fitch

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

JILA - Lewandowski group
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • JILA Thesis Defense

Event Details & Abstract: 

This talk will discuss a couple of major steps taken in the direction of achieving scientific goals using cold molecules. Interest in cold molecule research spans a large range of experimental science: from applied interest in chemistry and processes like combustion, to more ``pure'' interest in carrying out fundamental tests of some of the most basic principles in physics, such as measuring the electric dipole moment of the electron as a test for physics beyond the standard model. The first experimental advancement discussed will be the development of a co-trap environment for studying interactions and collisions between ultracold atoms and Stark decelerated cold polar molecules. In this experiment, rubidium atoms are trapped using magnetic fields, and ammonia atoms are decelerated and trapped using electric fields. The two traps are spatially overlapped in order to investigate inter-species interactions. The co-trap environment provides exceedingly long interaction times, many orders of magnitude longer than typical beam-based interaction studies. As a result, it provides extremely high sensitivity to weak interaction mechanisms. The second experimental advancement discussed will be the development and construction of a new style of Stark decelerator, capable of producing much larger densities of cold molecules. This apparatus has the potential to expand the realm of possible experiments with chemically interesting species, and provide an unprecedented amount of control over molecular beams and traps. The gains haven't come easily though, as a new class of custom high voltage analog amplifiers have needed to be developed. After many years of development, this experiment is poised to come online, finally fulfilling its potential.