Physical Review A
Ultracold Rydberg atoms in a static electric field can exchange energy via the dipole-dipole interaction. The Stark effect shifts the energy levels of the atoms which tunes the energy exchange into resonance at specific values of the electric field (Forster resonances). We excite rubidium atoms to Rydberg states by focusing either a 480 nm beam from a tunable dye laser or a pair of diode lasers into a magneto-optical trap. The trap lies at the center of a configuration of electrodes. We scan the electric field by controlling the voltage on the electrodes while measuring the fraction of atoms that interact. Dipole-dipole interaction spectra are presented for initially excited rubidium nd states for n = 31 to 46 and for four different pairs of initially excited rubidium ns states. We also present the dipole-dipole interaction spectra for individual rubidium 32d (j, m(j)) fine structure levels that have been selectively excited. The data are compared to calculated spectra.
© 2011 by the American Physical Society. The publisher's version of the article can be found at http://pra.aps.org/abstract/PRA/v84/i5/e053431.
E. Altiere et al., Phys. Rev. A 84, 53431 (2011).