Physics & Astronomy
In an experiment performed by our collaborators at Bryn Mawr, we excite rubidium-85 to a coherent superposition of the different |mj| splittings of the 37d5/2 state induced by a small electric field. After waiting for some variable delay time, we apply a time-dependent electric field to ionize the atom and record the ionized current that arrives at the detector. Due to the initial superposition, we observe an interference pattern that depends on the delay time. This thesis describes my continued work with Dr. Carroll to develop a computational model of this experiment. Our initial method of determining the current involved a semi-classical approach that did not accurately describe the phase, so the more recent developments have focused on including the continuum states in our calculation.
Vennettilli, Michael P., "The Role of Continuum States in the Field Ionization of Rydberg Atoms" (2016). Physics and Astronomy Honors Papers. 2.