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Barium ion cavity QED and triply ionized thorium ion trapping.

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Trapped cold ions are tools which we used to approach two very disparate areas of physics, strong coupling between Ba+ ions and optical resonators, and investigations of a low-energy nuclear isomer of 229 Th. The first part of this thesis describes our progress towards the integration of a miniature Paul (rf) ion trap with a high finesse (F≈30000) optical cavity. Ba+ io Trapped cold ions are tools which we used to approach two very disparate areas of physics, strong coupling between Ba+ ions and optical resonators, and investigations of a low-energy nuclear isomer of 229 Th. The first part of this thesis describes our progress towards the integration of a miniature Paul (rf) ion trap with a high finesse (F≈30000) optical cavity. Ba+ ions were trapped and cooled for long periods and a new scheme for isotope selective photoionization was developed. The second part of this thesis describes our progress towards controlled excitation of the low energy nuclear isomer of 229Th, which may provide a bridge between the techniques of cold atomic and nuclear physics. As a step towards this goal, 232Th3+ ions were confined in rf ions traps and cooled via collisions with a buffer gas of helium. A sophisticated scanning program was developed for controlling ion trap loading, tuning lasers, and running a CCD camera to look for fluorescence. The low-lying electronic transitions of Th3+ at 984 nm, 690 nm and 1087 nm were observed via laser fluorescence.


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Trapped cold ions are tools which we used to approach two very disparate areas of physics, strong coupling between Ba+ ions and optical resonators, and investigations of a low-energy nuclear isomer of 229 Th. The first part of this thesis describes our progress towards the integration of a miniature Paul (rf) ion trap with a high finesse (F≈30000) optical cavity. Ba+ io Trapped cold ions are tools which we used to approach two very disparate areas of physics, strong coupling between Ba+ ions and optical resonators, and investigations of a low-energy nuclear isomer of 229 Th. The first part of this thesis describes our progress towards the integration of a miniature Paul (rf) ion trap with a high finesse (F≈30000) optical cavity. Ba+ ions were trapped and cooled for long periods and a new scheme for isotope selective photoionization was developed. The second part of this thesis describes our progress towards controlled excitation of the low energy nuclear isomer of 229Th, which may provide a bridge between the techniques of cold atomic and nuclear physics. As a step towards this goal, 232Th3+ ions were confined in rf ions traps and cooled via collisions with a buffer gas of helium. A sophisticated scanning program was developed for controlling ion trap loading, tuning lasers, and running a CCD camera to look for fluorescence. The low-lying electronic transitions of Th3+ at 984 nm, 690 nm and 1087 nm were observed via laser fluorescence.

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