AMP: Experimental Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

Molecular spectroscopy

AMP laboratory measurements of exotic carbon-chain molecules aim to understand the role of the chemical bond and organic chemistry in nature on a cosmic scale, and to determine the origin of the interstellar diffuse bands, the outstanding unsolved problem in astronomical spectroscopy.

Over the last ten years the continuing discovery and increasingly accurate characterization of brown dwarfs and extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) have created a new frontier in stellar and planetary astronomy. The development of accurate spectral diagnostics and the refinement of the theoretical models to describe these objects are among the most important challenges for the future. We are contributing to both of these goals through a combined theoretical and experimental program to obtain highly accurate profiles of alkali resonance lines broadened by collisions with molecular hydrogen and helium.

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Spectroscopy group

Precision tests of fundamental physics

The original core activity of the Walsworth Group was the development of precision measurement tools, such as atomic clocks, and the application of these tools to precision tests of fundamental physics. In particular, we have used noble gas and hydrogen masers to perform some of the most sensitive tests to date of Lorentz symmetry for the neutron and proton.


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Walsworth Group, Precision tests of fundamental physics


The electrostatic potential around the negative molecular ion (anion) of C6H detected in the laboratory and in space by the spectroscopy group.
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