Duke Physics Departmental Colloquium: Laser Spectroscopy of a Nucleus: The Search for the Isomeric Transition in Thorium-229
"Laser spectroscopy of a nucleus: The search for the isomeric transition in thorium-229"
In 1976 Kroger and Reich established the existence of a low-lying, nuclear excited state in Th-229 that appeared to be accessible with laser technology. This discovery touched off a flurry of activity to perform laser spectroscopy of a nucleus, as a laser-accessible nuclear transition would provide a host of new technological and scientific applications. Despite this significant activity, to date, no one has succeeded in actually performing laser spectroscopy on the nucleus. I will discuss our efforts to do exactly this.
Photo caption: The first Th-229:LiSrAlF6 crystal ever produced. A clock based on this crystal could replace essentially all precision timekeeping devices.
Faculty host: Steffen A. Bass