HIGH RESOLUTION MICROWAVE SPECTROSCOPY OF ULTRA COLD RYDBERG ATOMS AS A PROBE OF ELECTRIC AND MAGNETIC FIELDS
Bohlouli Zanjani, Parisa
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In highly excited Rydberg atoms, the excited electron is in a large, loosely bound orbit. Hence, in contrast with the ground states, the Rydberg states are very sensitive to external electric field and can be ionized in rather weak fields. The low ionization threshold of Rydberg states results in effective state-specific detection by the selective field ionization technique. In this thesis, high-resolution spectroscopy of Rydberg states of Rubidium using millimeter wave transitions and selective field ionization has been used as a probe of external electric and magnetic fields. Laser cooling and trapping techniques in a magneto-optical trap (MOT) are employed to have a high density and narrow velocity distribution for the atomic sample. In this work the magnetic field inhomogeneity inherent in a MOT is minimized and the stray electric field present at the trap region is compensated in order to have resolved spectra. The Stark line broadening of the spectra obtained in this work may be used to determine the electric field distribution in an expanding ultra-cold neutral plasma.