Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics Seminar

From Rydberg Gases to Beta Decay: Some Applications of Ultra-cold Atoms

David Feldbaum
Atom Trapping Team, Nuclear Chemistry Division
Los Alamos National Laboratory

The dense gases of Rydberg atoms produced by photo-excitation of cold atoms trapped in magneto-optical traps, have been found to exhibit a wide range of behaviors: state mixing, production of fast atoms, spontaneous ionization and evolution into cold plasmas. I will give a brief overview of these effects, with a particular emphasis on the experiments that are conducted at the University of Michigan.

An understanding of such process is also necessary for realizing certain proposals on quantum computing with Rydberg atoms. The efforts in this direction will also be discussed. In the last part of the talk I will shift the focus and describe the current efforts at the Los Alamos Laboratory to use ultra-cold magnetically and optically trapped atoms to study the fundamental interactions, in particular, the parity non-conserving beta-decay of short-lived isotopes of Rb.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007
2:00 pm
Gant Science Complex
Physics Department
Room P121

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