The theory of direct laser excitation of nuclear transitions

30 Jun 2020  ·  von der Wense Lars, Bilous Pavlo V., Seiferle Benedict, Stellmer Simon, Weitenberg Johannes, Thirolf Peter G., Pálffy Adriana, Kazakov Georgy ·

A comprehensive theoretical study of direct laser excitation of a nuclear state based on the density matrix formalism is presented. The nuclear clock isomer $^{229\text{m}}$Th is discussed in detail, as it could allow for direct laser excitation using existing technology and provides the motivation for this work... The optical Bloch equations are derived for the simplest case of a pure nuclear two-level system and for the more complex cases taking into account the presence of magnetic sub-states, hyperfine-structure and Zeeman splitting in external fields. Nuclear level splitting for free atoms and ions as well as for nuclei in a solid-state environment is discussed individually. Based on the obtained equations, nuclear population transfer in the low-saturation limit is reviewed. Further, nuclear Rabi oscillations, power broadening and nuclear two-photon excitation are considered. Finally, the theory is applied to the special cases of $^{229\text{m}}$Th and $^{235\text{m}}$U, being the nuclear excited states of lowest known excitation energies. The paper aims to be a didactic review with many calculations given explicitly. read more

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Nuclear Theory Optics