We report measurement of inelastic loss in dense and cold metastable ytterbium (Yb[P23]). Use of an optical far-off-resonance trap enables us to trap atoms in all magnetic sublevels, removing m-changing collisional trap loss from the system. Trapped samples of Yb[P23] are produced at a density of 2×1013cm-3 and temperature of 2μK. We observe rapid two-body trap loss of Yb[P23] and measure the inelastic collision rate constant 1.0(3)×10-11cm3s-1. The existence of the fine-structure changing collisions between atoms in the P23 state is strongly suggested.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)