Stable Lasers for Precision Control of Radium Ions Mentors Andrew Jayich and Craig Holliman (Physics)
Jack Roten

Ra+, a heavy alkaline earth ion, can be confined within a quadrupole ion trap with lasers stabilized at the MHz frequency level, however for stable trapping, cooling, and precise measurements more robust methods must be utilized. Ra+ is the last frontier for precision measurements of trapped ions where fundamental properties, such as lifetime and branching ratios, have not been experimentally achieved. This is difficult to realize with current lasers, which are difficult to accurately tune, and experience frequency wandering. Stabilization via an optical cavity is an essential step towards precision measurements with trapped ions. Lasers can be stabilized via an active feedback method called a Pound-Drever-Hall (PDH) lock. With stable lasers, precision control and measurement of Ra+ will be possible.

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