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Development of Lattice Trapped Paramagnetic Polar Molecules for Quantum Simulation

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Final performance rept. 15 Mar 2012-14 Mar 2015

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We have demonstrated optimized production and spatial manipulation of Li-Yb mixtures in a weak regime of interactions, as well as a first exploration of Yb as a bath or probe for a strongly interacting Fermi gas of lithium. We have explored interspecies collisional resonances in the system and found first evidence of Feshbach resonances in a mixture of alkali and alkali-earth-like atoms, using a novel ultracold heteronuclear system of ground and excited state atoms. This was done by exciting Yb into a metastable 3P2 state Yb, thus introducing anisotropy into the interactions with ground state Li, which in turn leads to broad Feshbach resonances. We have initiated the optical lattice setup for our experiment and demonstrated its operation in a one-dimensional geometry leading to an array of two-dimensional pancake traps. We have also produced heteronuclear molecules of ytterbium-lithium for the first time, using the technique of photoassociation. We produced such molecules in an electronically excited state, thus identifying an intermediate state to use for future transfer to the electronically ground molecular state using a Raman technique.

Subject Categories:

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics and Spectroscopy
  • Optics
  • Nuclear Physics and Elementary Particle Physics
  • Quantum Theory and Relativity

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