Precision spectroscopy of trapped radioactive radium ions

D. J. van der Hoek, K. Jungmann, C. J. G. Onderwater, R. G. E. Timmermans, L. Willmann, H. W. Wilschut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Atomic parity violation (APV) can be measured in a single Ra(+) ion, enabling a precise measurement of the electroweak mixing angle in the Standard Model of particle physics at low momentum transfer. This provides sensitivity to new particles such as extra Z(0) bosons or leptoquarks. The Weinberg angle can be measured via a determination of the light shift in the forbidden 7(2)S(1/2)-6(2)D(3/2) transition in a single trapped Ra(+). Ultra-narrow transitions in such an ideal system can also be exploited to realize a high stability frequency standard. At the TRI mu P facility of KVI, we have succeeded in the production of a series of radioactive short-lived radium isotopes. The radium isotopes produced were stopped and thermalized to Ra(+) in a thermal ionizer, mass separated in a Wien filter, cooled in a gas filled radio frequency quadrupole and subsequently trapped as a cloud in a linear Paul trap. Laser spectroscopy in the trapped radium ions has been performed. The results of hyperfine structure, isotope shift, and lifetime measurements are important experimental inputs to test the accuracy of atomic theory, the precision of which is indispensable for extracting the Weinberg angle. These results are also of relevance for a possible atomic clock, based on trapped Ra(+).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-72
Number of pages4
JournalCanadian Journal of Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • TRI-MU-P

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