Parity violation in atomic ytterbium: Experimental sensitivity and systematics
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.
Tsigutkin, K., D. Dounas-Frazer, A. Family, J. E. Stalnaker, et al. 2010. "Parity violation in atomic ytterbium: Experimental sensitivity and systematics." Physical Review A 82.
American Physical Society
Physical Review A
Physics and Astronomy