Probing interactions of thermal Sr Rydberg atoms using simultaneous optical and ion detection

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Hanley, RK
Bounds, AD
Huillery, P
Keegan, NC
Faoro, R
Bridge, EM
Weatherill, KJ
Jones, MPA
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2017
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Abstract

We demonstrate a method for probing interaction effects in a thermal beam of strontium atoms using simultaneous measurements of Rydberg EIT and spontaneously created ions or electrons. We present a Doppler-averaged optical Bloch equation model that reproduces the optical signals and allows us to connect the optical coherences and the populations. We use this to determine that the spontaneous ionization process in our system occurs due to collisions between Rydberg and ground state atoms in the EIT regime. We measure the cross section of this process to be 0.6 ± 0.2 σgeo, where σgeo is the geometrical cross section of the Rydberg atom. This result adds complementary insight to a range of recent studies of interacting thermal Rydberg ensembles.

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Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

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50

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11

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© 2017 Institute of Physics Publishing. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.

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Atomic, molecular and optical physics

Theoretical and computational chemistry

physics.atom-ph

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Hanley, RK; Bounds, AD; Huillery, P; Keegan, NC; Faoro, R; Bridge, EM; Weatherill, KJ; Jones, MPA, Probing interactions of thermal Sr Rydberg atoms using simultaneous optical and ion detection, Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, 2017, 50 (11)

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