Toying with molecules; ammonia molecules in fountains and synchrotrons (Dr. H. Bethlem)

  • Date: Jul 18, 2016
  • Time: 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
  • Speaker: Dr. Hendrick L. Bethlem, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Room: Herbert Walther Lecture Hall
  • Host: MPQ, Quantum Dynamics Division
The ability to manipulate molecules with electric fields offers new opportunities for studying cold collisions and performing precision tests.

I will present two experiments: In the first experiment we let beams of argon atoms collide with ammonia molecules that are stored in a synchrotron. Using a synchrotron has the advantage that the collision partners move in the same direction, resulting in a low collision energy. Furthermore, by storing molecules many roundtrips the sensitivity to collisions is greatly enhanced.

In the second experiment beams of ammonia molecules are decelerated, trapped, cooled and subsequently launched upwards with a velocity between 1.4 and 1.9 m/s. Molecules with this speed will fly up 60-180 mm before falling back under gravity. We have demonstrated field-free interaction times up to 266 millisecond, two orders of magnitude longer than has been achieved with molecular beams.

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