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Colloquium: A Tale of Two Valence Electrons: Quantum Degenerate Gases of Atomic Strontium

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T. C. Killian, Rice University
When
24 April 2014 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Where
117 Osmond Laboratory
Contact Name
Contact Phone
(814) 863-3076
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The study of quantum degenerate atomic gases has become one of the most exciting research areas in Physics, and almost all of this work has been done with alkali-metal atoms. Recently there has been great interest in experiments with divalent atoms, such as strontium and ytterbium. In this talk, I will explain how the electronic structure of alkaline-earth metal atoms and other divalent elements opens many new possibilities for applications like incredibly accurate atomic clocks and fundamental studies of atom-photon interactions and many-body physics. I will give an overview of the field and describe in detail experiments performed in our laboratory on quantum degenerate gases of strontium. Most recently, we have used lasers near resonance with a narrow intercombination-line, singlet-to-triplet transition to control atom-atom interactions in a Bose-Einstein Condensate [1] and to see Rabi oscillations between atomic and molecular condensates [2].

 

[1] “Controlling Condensate Collapse and Expansion with an Optical Feshbach Resonance,” M. Yan, B.

J. DeSalvo, B. Ramachandhran, H. Pu, and T. C. Killian, Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 123201 (2013).

 

[2] “Rabi Oscillations between Atomic and Molecular Condensates Driven with Coherent One-Color Photoassociation,” Mi Yan, B. J. DeSalvo, Y. Huang, P. Naidon, and T. C. Killian, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 150402 (2013).

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