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Experimental and theoretical investigation of the Stark effect for trapping cold molecules: application to nitric oxide
 

Summary: Experimental and theoretical investigation of the Stark effect
for trapping cold molecules: application to nitric oxide
Bryan J. Bichsel, Michael A. Morrison,
Neil Shafer-Ray, and E. R. I. Abraham
Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Oklahoma,
440 West Brooks Street, Norman, Oklahoma 73019-0225
(Dated: November 6, 2005)
Current interest in cold and ultracold molecules has brought renewed attention to the Stark effect
in weakly polar diatomic molecules. At cold temperatures, molecules move adiabatically with respect
to the strength of the trapping field. Thus the theory of the Stark effect involves homogeneous, static
fields. For a class of weakly polar diatomic radicals with an odd number of electrons and a 2
ground
electronic state, we critically examine, both experimentally and theoretically, widely used first- and
second-order perturbation-theory approximations to the Stark shifts. Using nitric oxide as a test
case, we experimentally assess these approximations at field strengths typical of current studies
of cold molecules. We also experimentally and theoretically assess Stark shifts calculated using a
very simple nonperturbative two-state model. These tests demonstrate that at such field strengths
low-order perturbation-theory approximates to the Stark shifts are significantly in error, while the
two-state model yields Stark shifts that conform to the measured data. We give expressions for the
Stark energies in a generic form that can trivially be applied to any molecules in the class under

  

Source: Abraham, Eric - Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Oklahoma

 

Collections: Physics