The thrust of my experimental research has been to invent and develop experimental approaches that allow the study of atomic and molecular states that are very difficult, or impossible, to observe using existing experimental methodologies. The interest in the particular excited states targeted in these new experiments are that electron-electron correlations play an important role in the state formation and stability.
The most recent technique developed enables the observation of energetically narrow, and hence long lived, highly excited states formed by photon impact using extreme ultra violet light derived from a synchrotron radiation source. In the most recent experiments two previously unobserved series of doubly excited states in helium have been detected, despite helium having attracted the most intense experimental scrutiny over the last thirty years.
In a related experiment, but using electron impact, the decay products of highly excited states are separated using a momentum recoil technique to isolate the decay product, which in conventional experiments is embedded in a large signal from other excitation processes.
The momentum recoil spectrometer was developed for a related experiment in which atoms or molecules were excited to metastable singly excited states followed by a second excitation step using a narrow linewidth, pulsed photon beam formed by a frequency double pulsed dye laser. This experiment allows the study of the rotational structure of molecules formed by electron impact, a detail which has been previously inaccessible.
All three experiments provide new ways forward for experimental atomic and molecular physics where quantum dynamical descriptions of atoms and molecules can be explored in detail and clarity.
ARC Infrastructure, ARC Discovery, multiple Access to Major Research Facilities Program funding, Experimental time at Synchrotrons in Italy, USA & Japan
Lecturer & Senior Lecturer, Dept of Physics & Astronomy, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Time domain investigations using pulsed synchrotron light and electron impact to study long-lived atomic & molecular processes.
Development of an new type of electron spectometer capable of ultra high energy resolution.
Development of a suite of animations for use in the teaching of physics.
Near & beyond edge technology
Development of animations for physics - see homepage for examples
Synchrotron Light, Electron impact, photon & electron scattering, process timing on sub-nanosecond timescales, metastable atom detection