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This Week at Physics

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Event Number 4406

  Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Atomic Physics Seminar
From fundamental physics to aspects of photosynthesis: Controlling and studying complex quantum systems
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Boerge Hemmerling, UC Berkeley
Abstract: The answer to many scientific questions ranging from fundamental physics to aspects of photosynthesis lie in the study of quantum systems. A requirement for such studies is often to initialize the systems, manipulate them and read them out. However, many of the systems with interesting applications tend to have a complex level structure rendering these requirements difficult to meet.

In this talk, I will discuss experimental strategies to control complex ions and molecules for which standard trapping, cooling and state manipulation methods fail. In particular, I will discuss how complex ions, such as Ti+ or Fe+, can be studied and used to place limits on the temporal variation of fundamental constants. Moreover, I will present a strategy to laser cool the diatomic molecule calcium monofluoride, a precursor to produce a degenerate dipolar quantum gas. Finally, I will show how strings of ions can be used to emulate processes relevant for transport phenomena in light harvesting processes.

I will conclude with a discussion on how to control and study two further quantum systems: electrons and aluminum chloride. Electrons can be stored in a novel two-frequency Paul trap, constituting the first step towards electron quantum computing; such a trap has, moreover, the potential to advance studies on matter-antimatter asymmetries by improving antihydrogen production. Furthermore, I will explain a laser cooling scheme for aluminum chloride, a molecule with excellent prospects for generating high phase-space density clouds at ultracold temperatures to study the physics of degenerate dipolar quantum gases.
Host: thad Walker
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