skip to main content

Title: Penning-Trap Mass Measurements in Atomic and Nuclear Physics
Penning-trap mass spectrometry in atomic and nuclear physics has become a well-established and reliable tool for the determination of atomic masses. In combination with short-lived radioactive nuclides it was first introduced at ISOLTRAP at the Isotope Mass Separator On-Line facility (ISOLDE) at CERN. Penning traps have found new applications in coupling to other production mechanisms, such as in-flight production and separation systems. The applications in atomic and nuclear physics range from nuclear structure studies and related precision tests of theoretical approaches to description of the strong interaction to tests of the electroweak Standard Model, quantum electrodynamics and neutrino physics, and applications in nuclear astrophysics. The success of Penning-trap mass spectrometry is due to its precision and accuracy, even for low ion intensities (i.e., low production yields), as well as its very fast measurement cycle, enabling access to short-lived isotopes. The current reach in relative mass precision goes beyond δ m/ m=10 −8 , the half-life limit is as low as a few milliseconds, and the sensitivity is on the order of one ion per minute in the trap. We provide a comprehensive overview of the techniques and applications of Penning-trap mass spectrometry in nuclear and atomic physics.
Authors:
; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1713857
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10098558
Journal Name:
Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science
Volume:
68
Issue:
1
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
45 to 74
ISSN:
0163-8998
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Rapid progress in atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) physics techniques enabled the creation of ultracold samples of molecular species and opened opportunities to explore chemistry in the ultralow temperature regime. In particular, both the external and internal quantum degrees of freedom of the reactant atoms and molecules are controlled, allowing studies that explored the role of the long-range potential in ultracold reactions. The kinetics of these reactions have typically been determined using the loss of reactants as proxies. To extend such studies into the short-range, we developed an experimental apparatus that combines the production of quantum-state-selected ultracold KRb molecules with ion mass and kinetic energy spectrometry, and directly observed KRb + KRb reaction intermediates and products [M.-G. Hu and Y. Liu, et al. , Science , 2019, 366 , 1111]. Here, we present the apparatus in detail. For future studies that aim for detecting the quantum states of the reaction products, we demonstrate a photodissociation based scheme to calibrate the ion kinetic energy spectrometer at low energies.
  2. Abstract Lepton scattering is an established ideal tool for studying inner structure of small particles such as nucleons as well as nuclei. As a future high energy nuclear physics project, an Electron-ion collider in China (EicC) has been proposed. It will be constructed based on an upgraded heavy-ion accelerator, High Intensity heavy-ion Accelerator Facility (HIAF) which is currently under construction, together with a new electron ring. The proposed collider will provide highly polarized electrons (with a polarization of ∼80%) and protons (with a polarization of ∼70%) with variable center of mass energies from 15 to 20 GeV and the luminosity of (2–3) × 10 33 cm −2 · s −1 . Polarized deuterons and Helium-3, as well as unpolarized ion beams from Carbon to Uranium, will be also available at the EicC. The main foci of the EicC will be precision measurements of the structure of the nucleon in the sea quark region, including 3D tomography of nucleon; the partonic structure of nuclei and the parton interaction with the nuclear environment; the exotic states, especially those with heavy flavor quark contents. In addition, issues fundamental to understanding the origin of mass could be addressed by measurements of heavy quarkonia near-thresholdmore »production at the EicC. In order to achieve the above-mentioned physics goals, a hermetical detector system will be constructed with cutting-edge technologies. This document is the result of collective contributions and valuable inputs from experts across the globe. The EicC physics program complements the ongoing scientific programs at the Jefferson Laboratory and the future EIC project in the United States. The success of this project will also advance both nuclear and particle physics as well as accelerator and detector technology in China.« less
  3. We propose a many-ion optical atomic clock based on three-dimensional Coulomb crystals of order one thousand Sn2+ ions confined in a linear RF Paul trap. Sn2+ has a unique combination of features that is not available in previously considered ions: a 1S0 ↔ 3P0 clock transition between two states with zero electronic and nuclear angular momentum (I = J = F = 0) making it immune to nonscalar perturbations, a negative differential polarizability making it possible to operate the trap in a manner such that the two dominant shifts for three-dimensional ion crystals cancel each other, and a laser-accessible transition suitable for direct laser cooling and state readout. We present analytical calculations of the differential polarizability and other relevant atomic properties, as well as numerical calculations of the motion of ions in large Coulomb crystals, to estimate the achievable accuracy and precision of Sn2+ Coulomb-crystal clocks.
  4. Stable potassium (K) isotopes (41K/39K) have shown great promise as novel chemical tracers for a wide range of bio-, geo-, and cosmo-chemical processes, but high precision stable K isotope analysis remains a challenge for plasma source mass spectrometry due to intense argon-related interferences produced directly from argon plasma. Here we provide an assessment on the analytical figures of merit of a new generation collision-cell equipped multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS), Sapphire from Nu Instruments, for K isotope analysis based on our extensive tests over a duration of ~8 months. Because use of helium and hydrogen as collision/reaction gases can reduce argon-related interferences to negligible levels at optimal flow rates, the collision-cell mode can operate at low mass resolution during K isotope analysis, providing >2 orders of magnitude higher K sensitivity (>1000 V per μg mL-1 K), as compared to the widely used “cold plasma” method, and the capability for direct 40K measurement. One challenge of the collision/reaction cell analysis on Sapphire is its higher susceptibility to matrix effects, requiring effective sample purification prior to analysis. Also, the collision-cell mode on Sapphire shows a pronounced effect associated with concentration (or ion intensity) mismatch between the sample and the bracketingmore »standard during analysis, and this effect may not be fully eliminated through conventional concentration matching practice. Instead, we developed a correction method for this concentration/ion intensity mismatch effect. Our method reduces the burden to the operator and increases sample throughput. This method allows for accurate K isotope analysis with an intermediate precision of ≤0.05 ‰ (2SD) to be routinely achieved using the collision cell on Sapphire, representing a major advance to stable K isotope analysis.« less
  5. At the historic Shelter Island Conference on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics in 1947, Willis Lamb reported an unexpected feature in the fine structure of atomic hydrogen: a separation of the 2S1/2 and 2P1/2 states1. The observation of this separation, now known as the Lamb shift, marked an important event in the evolution of modern physics, inspiring others to develop the theory of quantum electrodynamics2–5. Quantum electrodynamics also describes antimatter, but it has only recently become possible to synthesize and trap atomic antimatter to probe its structure. Mirroring the historical development of quantum atomic physics in the twentieth century, modern measurements on anti-atoms represent a unique approach for testing quantum electrodynamics and the foundational symmetries of the standard model. Here we report measurements of the fine structure in the n = 2 states of antihydrogen, the antimatter counterpart of the hydrogen atom. Using optical excitation of the 1S–2P Lyman-α transitions in antihydrogen6, we determine their frequencies in a magnetic field of 1 tesla to a precision of 16 parts per billion. Assuming the standard Zeeman and hyperfine interactions, we infer the zero-field fine-structure splitting (2P1/2–2P3/2) in antihydrogen. The resulting value is consistent with the predictions of quantum electrodynamics to amore »precision of 2 per cent. Using our previously measured value of the 1S–2S transition frequency6,7, we find that the classic Lamb shift in antihydrogen (2S1/2–2P1/2 splitting at zero field) is consistent with theory at a level of 11 per cent. Our observations represent an important step towards precision measurements of the fine structure and the Lamb shift in the antihydrogen spectrum as tests of the charge– parity–time symmetry8 and towards the determination of other fundamental quantities, such as the antiproton charge radius9,10, in this antimatter system.« less