University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

PhD Defense

Friday, November 30, 2018
1:30pm – 3:30pm

Storrs Campus

Jonathan Kwolek, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut

Studying Charge Exchange in a Hybrid Ion-neutral Trap

Interactions between neutral and ionized atoms are medium-range, and the spiraling nature of these collisions can lead to long interaction times and large cross sections. The field of ion-neutral interactions is bolstered by methods from atomic physics, which allow us to accurately control and determine the quantum-states of the reactants. Atomic physics opens the door to studying these interactions over a large range of energies, in order to observe interesting effects from the ultracold to hot temperature regimes.

The hybrid-trap enables the concentric trapping of a sample of cold atoms and ions. The dissertation discusses our exploration into the controlled reactions in the Na+Ca^+ system, including measurements of sympathetic cooling and a charge-exchange rate which changes as a function of energy and atomic state. The quantum-state distributions of Na in our magneto-optical trap is also explored, as well as its agreement and subsequent deviation based on a predictive model. The measurements of reaction rates indicate a reaction-energy threshold in two different reaction channels, which can be corroborated by theoretical investigation.


Prof. W. Smith

Physics Department (primary)

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