Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
In this presentation, we discuss results from two separate bodies of work. In the first, we investigate all-optical excitation methods to produce metastable-state krypton. The high energies required to excite rare gases out of their ground state present a unique challenge in the context of laser experiments. Laser physics work with rare gases often relies on excitation within an RF discharge. All-optical excitation is a promising replacement for RF discharges, avoids problems caused by ion production and may eventually allow for higher efficiencies. We examine three separate methods of all-optical metastable-state production: using an ArF excimer laser, using the third harmonic of the Jefferson Lab free-electron laser (FEL), and using a commercially available UV lamp.
In the second body of work, we perform photoassociation spectroscopy in an ultracold, heteronuclear Rb + Ar* system. Photoassociation is a method that may be used to both 1) produce ultracold molecules, and 2) perform high-resolution spectroscopy on excited molecular states. Most work within the field has been performed within all alkali-metal systems. We examine a unique noble gas–alkali system within a dual species magneto-optical trap. We have performed a comprehensive search for evidence of excitation to molecular levels of RbAr. We illuminate atom pairs with a photoassociation laser in a spectral region detuned a few GHz below an atomic asymptote of argon, analogous to previous work in the homo-nuclear argon or krypton systems. We discuss our methodology and findings. We conclude with a discussion of how our results may be applied to future spectroscopic searches
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White, Grady R..
"Optical Excitation of Metastable Krypton and Photoassociative Spectroscopy of Ultracold RbAr"
(2019). Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Dissertation, Physics, Old Dominion University, DOI: 10.25777/kp19-sk29