Advisor: Dr. Charles Sackett
University of Virginia, 2016-2018
The core electrons make a significant contribution to the total electric polarizability of large atoms like Rb. If the core contribution can be determined accurately, the remaining valence contribution to polarizability provides constraints on the wave function and matrix elements of the valence electron, which can be useful for interpreting experiments such as parity violation or radiation shifts in atomic clocks. We report here on a direct measurement of the core polarizability based on radio-frequency spectroscopy of Rydberg states with large angular momentum. With accuracy in polarizability approaching 0.01 atomic units, the residual uncertainty will be negligible even in the most sensitive applications. The measured value can also be compared to high-precision theoretical calculations to test many-body techniques.
Presentation: 87Rb Rydberg State RF Spectroscopy Measurements for Core Polarizability, presented at APS DAMOP (Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics), Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 2018
Talk: 87Rb Rydberg State RF Spectroscopy Measurements for Core Polarizability, presented at APS SESAPS (Southeastern Section American Physical Society), Georgia College, Georgia, 2017
Experimental apparatus showing a) rubidium source, b) field ionization plates, c) laser beams, d) multichannel plates, e) microwave horn & sample measured microwave resonance.