Cold Rydberg Gas Dynamics
and Rydberg Atom Trapping:
Participating Students: Kelly Younge and Sarah Anderson
What are Rydberg atoms?
Rydberg atoms are atoms in highly excited states. Their name comes from the
Rydberg formula which describes the energy levels of the hydrogen atom. The
energy levels of the Rydberg atom can be described by a modified Rydberg
formula. This is because the outermost electron of a Rydberg atom sees a
ionic core which is like the hydrogen nucleus.
Why study Rydberg atoms?
Rydberg atoms possess properties which make them useful not only for the study
of basic physics, but in potential application as extremely sensitive field
sensors or in a physical manifestation of a quantum computer.
The fine print:
Of course, it is only when we are able to carefully control the location of and
interactions among Rydberg atoms that some of the most promising work can be
On the following pages we describe:
Our efforts to understand the processes that take place in cold, dense Rydberg
progress toward the trapping of cold Rydberg atoms
Next This project is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF)