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Title: Theory of ultracold atomic collisions in radio-frequency fields
Author: Owens, Daniel James
ISNI:       0000 0004 7962 6785
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis has investigated the dynamics of ultracold atomic collisions in the presence of both static magnetic and oscillating radio-frequency (rf) fields. The bound state structure and scattering length of 39K+133Cs was examined in the presence of only a static magnetic field, where it was found that no Feshbach resonance of suitable width for magnetoassociation existed at a magnetic field where caesium can be cooled to degeneracy. We then showed that zero-energy Feshbach resonances may be engineered using an rf field in places where they did not previously exist. An rf field with frequency 79.9 MHz was chosen to induce a resonance near 21 G. The widths of such rf-induced Feshbach resonances increase quadratically with rf field strength. The resonances presented are lossless with circularly polarized rf, and the molecules created are long-lived even with plane-polarized RF. Collisional losses in rf-dressed magnetic traps were also investigated. An rf-induced loss mechanism that does not exist in the absence of rf radiation was identified. This mechanism is not suppressed by a centrifugal barrier in the outgoing channel, and can be much faster than spin relaxation, which is centrifugally suppressed. We explore the dependence of the rf-induced loss rate on singlet and triplet scattering lengths, hyperfine splittings and the strength of the rf field. The results were interpreted in terms of an adiabatic model of the collision dynamics, and calculate the corresponding nonadiabatic couplings. The loss rate can vary by 10 orders of magnitude as a function of singlet and triplet scattering lengths. 87Rb is a special case, where several factors combine to reduce rf-induced losses; as a result, they are slow compared to spin-relaxation losses. For most other alkali-metal pairs, rf-induced losses are expected to be much faster and may dominate. For heteronuclear mixtures an rf-modified spin-exchange mechanism was identified that results in loss rates orders of magnitude greater than the rf-induced loss rates in homonuclear cases. Fast loss is expected in mixtures where the Lande g-factors differ.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available