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Towards coherent control of the 229Th isomeric transition in VUV-transparent crystals

Nickerson, Brenden Scott

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The 229mTh isomeric state at approximately 8:28 eV has generated significant interest as a possible candidate for the development of a nuclear clock with cutting edge precision and stability. One of the approaches to build such a clock relies on the excitation of thorium nuclei doped into VUV-transparent crystals. Excitation in the crystal environment has yet to be achieved experimentally. In this dissertation we investigate from the theoretical side, two methods aimed at exciting thorium's isomeric state within the crystal environment. We study first the possibility to carry out nuclear forward scattering style experiments which could provide a unique signature of the nuclear excitation along with quantifying the detuning of the driving laser systems to the transition energy in question. This work includes analysis of the phase difference and time delay between excitation pulses along with the role of magnetic fields and dopant orientations on the level schemes available for driving. As a second method we investigate Electronic Bridge (EB) processes within the crystal environment which have never been addressed so far in the literature. EB exploits the coupling between the nucleus and the electronic shell which is neglected in the direct laser excitation approach. Novel EB schemes in the crystal environment are introduced which aim to increase the isomeric population with the use of broadband excitation sources. Rates of such EB processes are calculated and their advantages with respect to the direct laser excitation are discussed. These findings support the development of a solid-state nuclear clock.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Pálffy-Buß, PD Dr. Adriana
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date of thesis defense: 10 December 2019
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2019 09:35
Date: 2019
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Physics and Astronomy > Dekanat der Fakultät für Physik und Astronomie
Subjects: 530 Physics
Controlled Keywords: Thorium-229
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