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Identification of optical transitions in complex highly charged ions for applications in metrology and tests of fundamental constants

Windberger, Robert-Alexander

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Abstract

Forbidden optical transitions in highly charged ions have become subject of extensive theoretical investigations due to their suitability as next generation frequency standards and for tests on a possible variation of the fine structure constant alpha. In particular, a level crossing in the Nd-like ion Ir17+ provides optical transitions with the highest sensitivity to such a variation ever predicted for a stable atomic system. However, the vast majority of the proposed ions have never been investigated experimentally, and accurate theoretical calculations are difficult due to complex electron correlations. This work explores the optical spectra of Nd-like W, Re, Os, Ir, and Pt with the Heidelberg electron beam ion trap. A method has been developed to identify fine structure transitions in isoelectronic sequences by exploiting the scaling of transition energies depending on the atomic number Z. This method was independently validated by the analysis of the Zeeman splitting in high resolution and accuracy spectra of the brightest Ir17+ lines. Advanced atomic structure calculations could be experimentally tested for the first time in this class of complex ions providing a benchmark for future calculations. From the achieved identifications, the transition energies of proposed frequency standards in Hf12+ and W14+ were inferred, as well as possible values for the sought-after alpha-sensitive M2/E3 transition energies in Ir17+.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Crespo López-Urrutia, PD Dr. José Ramón
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date of thesis defense: 29 April 2015
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2015 09:05
Date: 2015
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Physics and Astronomy > Dekanat der Fakultät für Physik und Astronomie
The Faculty of Physics and Astronomy > Institute of Physics
Subjects: 530 Physics
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