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Sympathetic cooling of fluorine atoms with ultracold atomic hydrogen.

González-Martínez, Maykel L. and Hutson, Jeremy M. (2013) 'Sympathetic cooling of fluorine atoms with ultracold atomic hydrogen.', Physical review A., 88 (5). 053420.


We consider the prospect of using ultracold hydrogen atoms for sympathetic cooling of fluorine atoms to microkelvin temperatures. We carry out quantum-mechanical calculations on collisions between cold F and H atoms in magnetically trappable states and show that the ratio of elastic to inelastic cross sections remains high across a wide range of temperatures and magnetic fields. For F atoms initially in the spin-stretched state (2P3/2, f = mf = +2), sympathetic cooling appears likely to succeed from starting temperatures around 1 K or even higher. This occurs because inelastic collisions are suppressed by p-wave and d-wave barriers that are 600 mK and 3.2 K high, respectively. In combination with recent results on H + NH and H + OH collisions [M. L. González-Martínez and J. M. Hutson, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 203004 (2013)], this establishes ultracold H atoms as a very promising and versatile coolant for atoms and molecules that cannot be laser-cooled.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© 2013 American Physical Society
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:24 January 2014
Date of first online publication:November 2013
Date first made open access:No date available

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