Cryogenically-cooled atoms and molecules for nonlinear optics and cold chemistry.

Monday, October 12, 2009 - 4:00pm
Jonathan Weinstein
Speaker's Institution: 
University of Nevada


We use laser ablation and cryogenic helium buffer-gas cooling to produce cold (~4 K) atoms and molecules.
We are able to create high optical density (OD > 100) samples of ytterbium atoms for use in nonlinear opticsexperiments: electromagnetically-induced transparency (EIT), stopped light, and single-photon generation.Traditional EIT experiments using alkali atoms rely on coherence between the light field and the atom'selectron spin. By using ground-state Yb-173 (J=0, I=5/2) we can create and use coherence between thelight field and pure nuclear spin states.
We also produce cold samples of atoms and molecules to study cold chemistry, with an emphasis ontunneling-driven reactions and on using spin-symmetry to control reaction rates.