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Metastability exchange optical pumping in 3He gas up to 30 mT: Efficiency measurements and evidence of laser-induced nuclear relaxation

Marion Batz 1
1 Hélium polarisé et fluides quantiques
LKB (Jussieu) - Laboratoire Kastler Brossel
Abstract : Advances in metastability exchange optical pumping (MEOP) of 3He at high laser powers, with its various applications, but also at high gas pressures p3 and high magnetic field strengths B, have provided strong motivation for revisiting the understanding and for investigating the limitations of this powerful technique. For this purpose, we present systematic experimental and theoretical studies of efficiency and of relaxation mechanisms in B≤30 mT and p3=0.63−2.45 mbar. 3He nuclear polarisation is measured by light absorption in longitudinal configuration where weak light beams at 1083 nm parallel to magnetic field and cell axis with opposite circular polarisations are used to probe the distribution of populations in the metastable state. This method is systematically tested to evaluate potential systematic biases and is shown to be reliable for the study of OP dynamics despite the redistribution of populations by OP light. Nuclear polarisation loss associated to the emission of polarised light by the plasma discharge used for MEOP is found to decrease above 10 mT, as expected, due to hyperfine decoupling in highly excited states. However, this does not lead to improved MEOP efficiency at high laser power. We find clear evidence of additional laser-induced relaxation instead. The strong OP-enhanced polarisation losses, currently limiting MEOP performances, are quantitatively investigated using an angular momentum budget approach and a recently developed comprehensive model that describes the combined effects of OP, ME and relaxation, validated by comparison to experimental results.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - 7:02:08 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 17, 2022 - 10:08:51 AM
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Marion Batz. Metastability exchange optical pumping in 3He gas up to 30 mT: Efficiency measurements and evidence of laser-induced nuclear relaxation. Atomic Physics [physics.atom-ph]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2011. English. ⟨tel-00665393⟩

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