ANALYSIS OF ALKALI METAL ATOMIC POLARIZABILITIES AND DEVELOPING ATOM INTERFEROMETRY WITH METASTABLE HELIUM
AuthorBROOKS, NATHAN JI-MING
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractAtom interferometry is a powerful method for precision measurements of atomic properties such as polarizability, which quantifies the energy shift of an atom due to an applied electric field. In this work, we interpret recent Cs, Rb, K, and Na atomic polarizability measurements in terms of transition matrix elements, excited state lifetimes, and atomic oscillator strengths. We also use these measurements to improve calculations of van der Waals atom-atom interaction potentials. We then combine measurements of polarizability and van der Waals potentials in order to empirically quantify the e↵ect of atomic core (inner-shell) electrons on these properties. This novel method expands the utility of atom interferometry as a test for modern atomic structure calculations. In addition, we explore the possibility of extending our polarizability measurements to metastable helium atoms, for the purpose of reducing systematic errors in our existing measurements, and to strontium atoms, of interest in the construction of next-generation atomic clocks.
Degree ProgramHonors College