Laser excitation of the n=3 level of positronium for antihydrogen production

S. Aghion, C. Amsler, A. Ariga, T. Ariga, G. Bonomi, P. Bräunig, J. Bremer, R. S. Brusa, L. Cabaret, M. Caccia, R. Caravita, F. Castelli, G. Cerchiari, K. Chlouba, S. Cialdi, D. Comparat, G. Consolati, A. Demetrio, L. Di Noto, M. DoserA. Dudarev, A. Ereditato, C. Evans, R. Ferragut, J. Fesel, A. Fontana, O. K. Forslund, S. Gerber, M. Giammarchi, A. Gligorova, S. Gninenko, F. Guatieri, S. Haider, H. Holmestad, T. Huse, I. L. Jernelv, E. Jordan, A. Kellerbauer, M. Kimura, T. Koettig, D. Krasnicky, V. Lagomarsino, P. Lansonneur, P. Lebrun, S. Lehner, J. Liberadzka, C. Malbrunot, S. Mariazzi, L. Marx, V. Matveev, AEgIS Collaboration

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66 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate the laser excitation of the n=3 state of positronium (Ps) in vacuum. A combination of a specially designed pulsed slow positron beam and a high-efficiency converter target was used to produce Ps. Its annihilation was recorded by single-shot positronium annihilation lifetime spectroscopy. Pulsed laser excitation of the n=3 level at a wavelength λ≈205 nm was monitored via Ps photoionization induced by a second intense laser pulse at λ=1064 nm. About 15% of the overall positronium emitted into vacuum was excited to n=3 and photoionized. Saturation of both the n=3 excitation and the following photoionization was observed and explained by a simple rate equation model. The positronium's transverse temperature was extracted by measuring the width of the Doppler-broadened absorption line. Moreover, excitation to Rydberg states n=15 and 16 using n=3 as the intermediate level was observed, giving an independent confirmation of excitation to the 3P3 state.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012507
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 7 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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