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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Optical synthesis and ultracold reactions of triplet ⁶Li molecules Polovy, Gene


In this thesis, we present the creation, via stimulated Raman adiabatic passage, and pre- liminary lifetime measurements of deeply bound triplet molecules of ⁶Li₂ in several rovi- brabrational levels of the a(³Σ⁺u ) molecular potential, including the lowest lying state in this potential. In addition to being the first experimental demonstration of the formation of these dimers, these results will serve as the basis for our ongoing efforts to reliably determine the rate constants responsible for the finite lifetimes of these ultracold molecules and may shed light on some of the mysteries surrounding the quantum state dependence of chemi- cal reactions in the ultracold regime. Moreover, all of the tools - including a robust laser cooling system for ⁶Li, an ultra-low phase noise Raman laser system and various software recipes for the automation of data collection and analysis - and experimental techniques developed in this study can also be used for the creation of heteronuclear LiRb molecules. Unlike our ⁶Li₂ homonuclear molecules which only have a magnetic dipole moment, the LiRb polar molecules are predicted to also have a large electric dipole in the lowest lying triplet state. These characteristics combined with a three dimensional optical lattice would give us precise control over several degrees of freedom and enable us to perform quantum simulations of exotic condensed matter systems. We also present the design and performance of a coherent source of Lyman-α radiation that was used by the ALPHA collaboration at CERN for laser cooling anti-hydrogen for the purpose of experimentally verifying the predictions of the standard model.

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