University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics Seminar

Monday, November 16, 2015
4:00pm – 5:00pm

Storrs Campus
Gant Science Complex, Physics, Room PB-121

Daniel McCarron, Yale University

“Improved Magneto-optical Trapping of a Diatomic Molecule”

The magneto-optical trap (MOT) is the workhorse technique for atomic physics in the ultracold regime, serving as the starting point in applications from optical clocks to quantum-degenerate gases. Recently, our group realized the first magneto-optical trap for a molecule, strontium monofluoride (SrF) [1]. Here, we present results using two alternative trapping schemes which improve upon the original work. In the first [2], recent insights into the origin of the restoring force in type-II MOTs [3] (rarely used for atoms but requisite for SrF and other candidate molecules) led to a simple change in polarization scheme for the MOT lasers. In the second [4], states dark to the restoring MOT beams are diabatically transferred to bright states by synchronously reversing the magnetic field gradient and the laser polarization at RF frequencies. For each scheme, the SrF MOT is loaded from a cryogenic buffer-gas beam slowed by laser radiation pressure while images of laser- induced fluorescence allow us to characterize each trap’s properties. Although magneto-optical trapping of diatomic molecules is in its infancy, our results indicate that access to the ultracold regime is now within reach for several molecular species, with potential applications from quantum simulation to ultracold chemistry to tests of fundamental symmetries. [1] J. F. Barry, D. J. McCarron, E. B. Norrgard, M. H. Steinecker, D. DeMille, Nature 512, 286 (2014). [2] D. J. McCarron, E. B. Norrgard, M. H. Steinecker, D. DeMille, New J. Phys. 17, 035014 (2015). [3] M. R. Tarbutt, New J. Phys. 17, 015007 (2015). [4] E. B. Norrgard, D. J. McCarron, M. H. Steinecker, M. R. Tarbutt, and D. DeMille, arXiv:1511.00930.


Dawn Rawlinson, 486-4916,

Physics Department (primary)

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