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Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Dec 28;109(26):262502. Epub 2012 Dec 28.

Coherence-enhanced optical determination of the 229Th isomeric transition.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Saupfercheckweg 1, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany. Wen-Te.Liao@mpi-hd.mpg.de


The impact of coherent light propagation on the excitation and fluorescence of thorium nuclei in a crystal lattice environment is investigated theoretically. We find that in the forward direction, the fluorescence signal exhibits characteristic intensity modulations dominated by a sped-up initial decay signal that is orders of magnitude faster. This feature can be exploited for the optical determination of the isomeric transition energy. In order to obtain a unmistakable signature of the isomeric nuclear fluorescence, we put forward a novel scheme for the direct measurement of the transition energy via electromagnetically modified nuclear forward scattering involving two fields that couple to three nuclear states.

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