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Laser Polarizer Facility

The laser polarizer facility (Polarizer), produces ion beams which are highly nuclearspin polarized, up to 80% or more in some cases. This is accomplished using laser interaction with the incoming beam. The outer electron of each atom passing through counter-propagating laser light repeatedly absorbs and emits photons, indirectly affecting the nucleus as well via the magnetic interaction between the electron and the nucleus. In our case, the angular momentum of circularly polarized light is transferred to the nuclei. Thus a beam with high nuclear polarization becomes available as an analytical tool. The polarizer facility, consisting of a continuous-wave, narrow-bandwidth laser system and the polarizer beam line, was built and is operated under TRIUMF research scientist Dr. Philip Levy. The main usage of the Polarizer has been to provide polarized 8Li for condensed matter studies using beta-detected nuclear magnetic resonance (βNMR) and nuclear quadrupole resonance (βNQR), but it also provides polarized beams for tests of fundamental symmetries and in nuclear structure studies. In the latter category there is overlap with the Laser Spectroscopy group, who conduct collinear fast beam laser spectroscopy (CFBS) experiments using the polarizer facility to determine nuclear moments via precision optical isotope shift and hyperfine structure measurements.

Before starting the polarizer facility Dr. Levy helped develop and operate the optically pumped polarized H- ion source (OPPIS), which allowed the TRIUMF cyclotron to provide polarized proton beams to high precision experiments. Although the polarized proton program at TRIUMF ended in 2000, OPPIS lives on as the polarized source at Brookhaven National Lab Polarizer laser lab Polarizer beam line Be.

Current developments are towards the implementation of nuclear spin polarized beams of a variety of elements to serve new research programs in the life sciences, to achieve highes efficiency in operation and swtich-over between (i) different polarized beams, (ii) colinear fast beam laser spectroscopy experiments and (iii) different b-NMR experiments at new experimental stations.

In the ARIEL era the polarized beams program will see a significant increase in beam hours and move towards multi-species beam delivery program. 

8 lithium

for beta-NMR, beta-NQR & particle physics

11 beryllium

sensitive asymmetry detection needed

31 magnesium

laser system upgrades for multi-beam development

(2nd Coherent 8990-21 ring-dye laser system) 

develop next generation polarizer (POLARIS) for multi element spin polarized beam delivery 

CFI funding applied for two all-solid state laser systems to cover dye & TiSa laser wavelength ranges in addition to frequency doubling and sum-frequency generation

Phil Levy 2010 - laser lab
Dr. Phil Levy (Senior Scientist, ret.)

Dr. Ruohong Li (Laser Physicist)

Dr. SeongGi Jo, IBS-RAON user group & ChungAn U (Seoul)


EunKang Kim (2019) Ph.D. student Korean National U of Education, now U Mainz-GSI