J. Phys. Colloques
Volume 42, Numéro C8, Décembre 1981Troisième Symposium sur les Etalons de Fréquence et la Métrologie / Third Symposium on Frequency Standards and Metrology
|Page(s)||C8-299 - C8-305|
J. Phys. Colloques 42 (1981) C8-299-C8-305
COHERENT SPECTROSCOPY ON SINGLE ATOMIC SYSTEM AT REST IN FREE SPACE IIH. Dehmelt
Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, U.S.A.
An individual atomic ion localized in the center of a small Paul rf quadrupole trap is a promising object for ultimate resolution laser spectroscopy because, broadly speaking, the ion may be brought to "A State of Complete Rest in Free Space" by side band cooling. As a consequence, all Doppler shifts vanish. "Free Space" is approximated insofar as the electric trapping field vanishes in the center of the trap and there is no Stark effect. Neither need there be a Zeeman Effect as magnetic fields may be controlled down to the micro-Gauss range. Naturally, there is no transit time broadening. Minute laser powers provided by harmonic generators suffice for saturation of optical transitions as well focused beams may be used. Millionfold atomic amplification of the single-ion fluorescence from a metastable level may bring resolutions of 1 part in 1018 within reach. Furthermore, the close localization of an atomic particle in space is one of the most fundamental problems in physics and worthy of study on its own merit.