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Department of Physics

Brett Esry

Brett EsryChapin & University Distinguished Professor
325 Cardwell Hall
Personal Webpage

Ph.D. University of Colorado, 1997
B.S. Kansas State University, 1993

Research Area

Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics

One of my main efforts is studying ultracold ~nK to µK) atomic systems. Within this increasingly broad area, my group is studying three-body collisions as well as matter wave propagation through microfabricated waveguides. Neither topic has received much attention until recently, and our group is one of only a few in the world capable of carrying out the three-body collision calculations.

One of the collision processes we are interested in produces a molecule from three free atoms (three-body recombination) and is a significant loss mechanism for experiments on degenerate quantum gases. These experiments aim at understanding phenomena such as superfluidity and superconductivity, and three-body recombination must be characterized in order to interpret the experiments. In the past year, we have investigated the limits of low-energy approximations to the recombination rates. We have also looked into the other three-body processes that can occur in the experiments --- collision induced vibrational relaxation and collision induced dissociation. We found their low-energy expansion and their dependence on the scattering parameters.

Another main thrust of my work is understanding the dynamics of a molecule in an intense laser field. My group is working on ways to solve the time-dependent Schrödinger equation for this highly non-perturbative system. Even the simplest molecule H2+, however, requires the solution of a six-dimensional time-dependent equation --- a nontrivial job for even the biggest supercomputers. We have explored various approximation schemes on our way to a complete solution.

Research Support

  • Department of Energy
  • National Science Foundation

Recent Selected Publications

''Frustrated tunnelling ionization during strong-field fragmentation of D3+,''   J. McKenna, A.M. Sayler, B. Gaire, N.G. Kling, B.D. Esry, K.D. Carnes, and I. Ben-Itzhak,   New J. Phys. 14, 103029 (2012). [link]

''Multiphoton above threshold effects in strong-field fragmentation,''   C.B. Madsen, F. Anis, L.B. Madsen, and B.D. Esry,   Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 163003 (2012). [link]

''Enhancing the intense field control of molecular fragmentation,''   F. Anis and B.D. Esry,   Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 133001 (2012). [link]

''Origin of the three-body parameter universality in Efimov physics,''   J. Wang, J.P. D'Incao, B.D. Esry, and C.H. Greene   Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 263001 (2012). [link]

''New class of three-body states,''   N. Guevara, Y. Wang, and B.D. Esry,   Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 213202 (2012). [link]

full publication list