Speaker: Dr. Adriana Pállfy-Buß (MPIK, Heidelberg)
Title of Talk: “Coherent light interacting with nuclei: from ultraviolet to gamma rays”
Date: Wednesday, 20 May 2020, 09:30
Venue: Online Seminar (via Zoom)
In the past decades, the interaction of optical coherent light (laser light) with atoms and molecules has revolutionized atomic physics. Nuclear systems proved to be less easy to tame due to the partial lack of coherent sources for the frequency regime of interest and their weaker coupling to the radiation field. However, appealing potential applications in coherent light interacting with nuclei exist along a broad range of parameters, from vacuum ultraviolet radiation to gamma rays. Three examples covering this range are addressed. The talk will introduce current efforts to develop a novel ultra-precise clock based on a nuclear transition in 229Th driven with a vacuum ultraviolet laser. Moving towards higher energies, we show how the cooperative effects occurring when x-ray radiation interacts with nuclei in a crystal lattice offer the possibility to put single x-ray photons on hold. Finally, the formation of compound nuclei in a parameter regime never available so far by coherent MeV photons as the ones envisaged at upcoming petawatt laser facilities is discussed. Such applications speak for the potential that coherent radiation may bring for controlling atomic nuclei.