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Feshbach resonances and the three-body problem

Cook, L; (2012) Feshbach resonances and the three-body problem. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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By applying a magnetic field across a trapped ultracold gas of alkali metal atoms, it is possible to alter the binding energies of near threshold molecular states. The proximity of molecular states to the scattering threshold has a strong effect on the threshold scattering characteristics. Because of this the magnetic field strength can be used to control low energy scattering within the gas. This resonant phenomena is referred to as a magnetically tuneable Feshbach resonance. This thesis looks at these and related phenomena in the context of trapped potassium atoms. First, we perform coupled-channels calculations in order to characterise a group of previously unreported Feshbach resonances, occurring in a host of different collision channels. Next, we compare these characterisations to empirical data, and more simplified models. Second, a detailed investigation into the photodissociation of weakly bound Feshbach molecules is carried out. This allows us to gain new insights into the structure of the exit channel interaction. We make semi-classical arguments which enable experimentalists to directly measure the height of potential barriers. We also perform detailed numerical calculations which, in conjunction with experimental data, allow us to develop a fine-tuned potential model for the exit state. Third, we model weakly bound triatomic states and their impact on near threshold scattering. Then, we discuss the use of three body recombination as a tool for observing Efimov states. Furthermore, we model the three body recombination rate using a simplified two channel model. Finally we suggest a method intended to provide the basis for numerical calculations using realistic Born-Oppenheimer potentials. It could also be used to analytically study near threshold three body physics.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Feshbach resonances and the three-body problem
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Feshbach, Efimov
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1348377
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