Precision spectroscopy of circular Rydberg states of hydrogen
Author(s)Holley, Jeffrey R
MetadataShow full item record
The Rydberg constant, R[infinity], is the scaling factor which link the spectrum of atomic hydrogen to practical laboratory energy units. Thus it has intrinsic importance by providing information on our simplest atomic system. Precision measurements of the Rydberg constant, or more accurately of the Rydberg frequency cR[infinity] , also have practical applications, since they effectively calibrate the entire hydrogen spectrum as a frequency standard. Previous measurements of R[infinity] and cR[infinity] have been carried out in the optical region. Our approach is to measure transitions between "circular" (maximum I and 1ml) states of hydrogen and deuterium Rydberg atoms with principal quantum numbers in the range n = 27 - 30. These transitions lie in the millimeter-wave regime, at 250 - 320 GH:G. We have measured the n = 27 --> n = 28 circular transitions with statistical uncertainties of approximately 1 x 10- 10-20 We have also determined how to account for frequency shifts due to the Stark and Zeeman effects. This thesis describes the methods and apparatus used to perform these measurements. A novel technique for analyzing the data obtained with a time-resolved Ramsey interference method is presented, and important sources of systematic error are analyzed.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Physics, 1998.Includes bibliographical references (p. 171-175).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology