High Angular Momentum Rydberg Wave Packets
Dunning, F. B.
Doctor of Philosophy
High angular momentum Rydberg wave packets are studied. Application of carefully tailored electric fields to low angular momentum, high- n ( n ∼ 300) Rydberg atoms creates coherent superpositions of Stark states with near extreme values of angular momentum, [cursive l]. Wave packet components orbit the parent nucleus at rates that depend on their energy, leading to periods of localization and delocalization as the components come into and go out of phase with each other. Monitoring survival probability signals in the presence of position dependent probing leads to observation of characteristic oscillations based on the composition of the wave packet. The discrete nature of electron energy levels is observed through the measurement of quantum revivals in the wave packet localization signal. Time-domain spectroscopy of these signals allows determination of both the population and phase of individual superposition components. Precise manipulation of wave packets is achieved through further application of pulsed electric fields. Decoherence effects due to background gas collisions and electrical noise are also detailed. Quantized classical trajectory Monte-Carlo simulations are introduced and agree remarkably well with experimental results.