Title

Parity violation in atomic ytterbium: Experimental sensitivity and systematics

Abstract

We present a detailed description of the observation of parity violation in the 1S0-3D1 408-nm forbidden transition of ytterbium, a brief report of which appeared earlier. Linearly polarized 408-nm light interacts with Yb atoms in crossed E and B fields. The probability of the 408-nm transition contains a parity-violating term, proportional to (E⋅B)[(E×E)⋅B], arising from interference between the parity-violating amplitude and the Stark amplitude due to the E field (E is the electric field of the light). The transition probability is detected by measuring the population of the 3P0 state, to which 65% of the atoms excited to the 3D1 state spontaneously decay. The population of the 3P0 state is determined by resonantly exciting the atoms with 649-nm light to the 6s7s 3S1 state and collecting the fluorescence resulting from its decay. Systematic corrections due to E-field and B-field imperfections are determined in auxiliary experiments. The statistical uncertainty is dominated by parasitic frequency excursions of the 408-nm excitation light due to the imperfect stabilization of the optical reference with respect to the atomic resonance. The present uncertainties are 9% statistical and 8% systematic. Methods of improving the accuracy for future experiments are discussed.

Publisher

American Physical Society

Publication Date

1-1-2010

Publication Title

Physical Review A

Department

Physics and Astronomy

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1103/PhysRevA.81.032114

Language

English

Format

text

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