MS Defense: Kyle Rollin

Defense – Monday 3rd August at 1:00pm in P-149 there will be a Masters Thesis Defense presented by Kyle Rollin who will talk about ” Polarizabilities of the Al+ Atomic Clock Ion.”


The properties of states of both the singly- and doubly- charged aluminium ion are determined from a large basis configuration interaction calculation. The main focus is on the polarizabilities of the low-lying states. A quantitative understanding of the polarizability of singly charged aluminium is particularly useful because of the presence of a ground state (1Se) to excited state (3Po) transition that may be used in the next generation of atomic clocks that far surpass the precision of the cesium standard in use today. The largest systematic source of uncertainty in aluminium based atomic clock experiments are the effects of black body radiation, which is proportional to the difference in the static dipole polarizabilities of the states that make up the transition. The present calculation has yielded a relative transition frequency shift of -4.3(25) which is in agreement with a recent experimental measurement the the N.I.S.T. Furthermore, the second hyperpolarizability is calculated for the Al+ ground state and yields a value of 2490.9 atomic units. Knowledge of the dipole polarizability, and higher polarizabilities as well, will aide in the development and widespread deployment of these extremely accurate clocks.

Committee Members:

Dr. Michael Bromley (Chair, Dept. of Physics),

Dr. Milton Torikachvili (Dept. of Physics), and

Dr. Andrew Cooksy (Dept. of Chemistry).


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