Collision-induced spin depolarization of alkali-metal atoms in cold He3 gas
We present a joint experimental and theoretical study of spin depolarization in collisions of alkali-metal atoms with He3 in a magnetic field. A rigorous quantum theory for spin-changing transitions is developed and applied to calculate the spin exchange and spin relaxation rates of Li and K atoms in cryogenic He3 gas. Magnetic trapping experiments provide upper bounds to the spin exchange rates for Li- He3 and K- He3, which are in agreement with the present theory. Our calculations demonstrate that the alkali-metal atoms have extremely slow spin depolarization rates, suggesting a number of potential applications in precision spectroscopy and quantum optics. © 2008 The American Physical Society.
Tscherbul, TV; Zhang, P; Sadeghpour, HR; Dalgarno, A; Brahms, N; Au, YS; Doyle, JM
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