3 years ago

Engineering excited-state interactions at ultracold temperatures.

Michael Mills, Prateek Puri, Ming Li, Steven J. Schowalter, Alexander Dunning, Christian Schneider, Svetlana Kotochigova, Eric R. Hudson

Using a recently developed method for precisely controlling collision energy, we observe a dramatic suppression of inelastic collisions between an atom and ion (Ca + Yb$^+$) at low collision energy. This suppression, which is expected to be a universal phenomenon, arises when the spontaneous emission lifetime of the excited state is comparable to or shorter than the collision complex lifetime. We develop a technique to remove this suppression and engineer excited-state interactions. By dressing the system with a strong catalyst laser, a significant fraction of the collision complexes can be excited at a specified internuclear separation. This technique allows excited-state collisions to be studied, even at ultracold temperature, and provides a general method for engineering ultracold excited-state interactions.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1901.02557

DOI: arXiv:1901.02557v1

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