Stuttgart 2012 – wissenschaftliches Programm
Q 34.35: Poster
Dienstag, 13. März 2012, 16:30–19:00, Poster.I+II
Collisional interactions of metastable neon in different spin states — •Jan Schütz, Alexander Martin, Sanah Altenburg, and Gerhard Birkl — Institut für Angewandte Physik, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Schlossgartenstraße 7, 64289 Darmstadt
We investigate the interactions of laser cooled metastable neon (Ne*) in the 3P2 state. The most remarkable feature of rare gas atoms in metastable states is their high internal energy which causes ionizing collisions, namely Penning and associative ionization. The resulting ions can be detected with high efficiency and accurate time resolution using electron multipliers. This serves as a direct probe for ionizing collisions and provides a close insight into the collision processes (see ) which cannot be studied in most other laser cooled atom samples.
As for He*, ionizing collisions in Ne* can be suppressed by preparing the atoms in spin-stretched states. The amount of suppression, however, depends crucially on the details of the interaction potentials and is limited due to the anisotropy of the interaction. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the collision process and to improve theoretical models, we measure rate coefficients of ionizing collisions for Ne* in individual 3P2 Zeeman sublevels and mixtures of these states. We prepare the desired states using radio frequency pulses and several optical pumping schemes.
 W. Vassen, C. Cohen-Tannoudji, M. Leduc, D. Boiron, C.I. Westbrook, A. Truscott, K. Baldwin, G. Birkl, P. Cancio, M. Trippenbach, ’Cold and trapped metastable noble gases’, Rev. Mod. Phys. (in print), arXiv:1110.1361 (2011).