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An ion trap source of cold atomic hydrogen via photodissociation of the BaH+ molecular ion

Steven Jones

New Journal of Physics, Volume: 24, Issue: 2, Start page: 023016

Swansea University Author: Steven Jones

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Abstract

I present a novel scheme for producing cold (magnetically trappable) atomic hydrogen, based on threshold photodissociation of the BaH+ molecular ion. BaH+ can be sympathetically cooled using laser cooled Ba+ in an ion trap, before it is photodissociated on the single photon A1Σ+ ← X1Σ+ transition. T...

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Published in: New Journal of Physics
ISSN: 1367-2630
Published: IOP Publishing 2022
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa60733
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Abstract: I present a novel scheme for producing cold (magnetically trappable) atomic hydrogen, based on threshold photodissociation of the BaH+ molecular ion. BaH+ can be sympathetically cooled using laser cooled Ba+ in an ion trap, before it is photodissociated on the single photon A1Σ+ ← X1Σ+ transition. The small mass ratio between Ba+ and BaH+ ensures a strong overlap within the ion trap for sympathetic cooling, while the large mass ratio between BaH+ and H means that the released hydrogen can be up to 139 times colder than the parent molecular ions. I examine the hydrogen production rate, and describe how the trap dynamics and photodissociation laser detuning influence the achievable energies. The low infrastructure costs and the ion trap nature of the scheme make it suitable for loading hydrogen into an antihydrogen experiment. This would support a direct matter–antimatter comparison, which could provide important clues as to why our Universe contains so little antimatter.
College: College of Science
Funders: This work was supported by the EPSRC.
Issue: 2
Start Page: 023016