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Title: Towards laser cooling and trapping of unstable caesium atoms
Author: Giatzoglou, Alexandros
ISNI:       0000 0004 7965 0080
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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The thesis reports on the work I carried out during my PhD to set up and test a new experimental facility at the Accelerator Laboratory of the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. The final aim was the realisation of a facility for cooling and trapping unstable caesium atoms. Ideally, my work can be divided in two phases, and the structure of this thesis mirrors this goal. The first phase of the work led to setting up the off-line, i.e. independent from the accelerator, set-up for laser cooling and trapping at the Accelerator Laboratory in Jyväskylä. This was necessary to test the effectiveness, robustness, and stability of our laser, optical and control systems for creating and fully-characterising a magneto-optical trap (MOT) of stable ¹³³Cs in the harsh and noisy environment of the Accelerator Laboratory. This required dedicated design of the experimental set-up, with requirements and specifications more strict than those of a conventional atomic physics experiment. The second phase led to setting up the complete, on-line experiment, with the atom trapping chamber being permanently connected to one of the accelerator's beam lines positioned within the IGISOL-4 facility. Tests and full characterisation of the "on-line" set-up were conducted. This led to the successful production of a MOT from neutralised ¹³³Cs⁺ produce as a high-energy beam. At full operation, ¹³³Cs is brought from 10⁴ eV to 10⁸ eV in around 5 s. Tests with radioactive beams were also performed and preliminary results are discussed in the thesis. Atomic samples were cooled down to 150 μK. This opens avenues for precision spectroscopy of unstable atomic samples and nuclear forensic applications. In the long term, the facility will allow the realisation of an isomeric Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC), constituting an experimental benchmark for the recently proposed theory of collective gamma-ray decay.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available