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Paul Oxley

Physics Department

Associate Professor
Ph.D., Harvard University
 

Fields: Experimental atomic physics — Producing highly-excited atoms and investigating their applications in fundamental atomic and plasma physics, including tests of Quantum Electrodynamics and the Correspondence Principle and studies of atom-ion scattering.

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Email: poxley@holycross.edu
Office Phone: 508-793-2473
Office: Haberlin 107
Lab: Haberlin 127
PO Box: 143A

Current Research

In our lab undergraduate students and I primarily perform experiments using highly-excited atoms, called Rydberg atoms.  The long term goal of our experiments is to study collisions between Rydberg atoms and ions.  We aim to use these studies to improve physicists’ understanding of the role Rydberg atoms play in determining the physical properties of plasmas.  A plasma is a collection of ions, electrons, and often Rydberg atoms and 99% of the visible universe is in a plasma state.  Plasmas occur in the interstellar medium, in planetary atmospheres, in fusion reactors designed to produce cheap, clean electrical power, and in gas discharges such as fluorescent lamps. We are currently building an apparatus to collide ground state lithium atoms with protons.

In the lab we create Rydberg lithium atoms by sequential laser excitation using up to four diode lasers.  The lithium atoms are produced in a home-built oven where solid lithium is heated in vacuum to 500ºC – hot enough for a beam of atoms to emerge from the oven and then be laser excited.  We have made precise measurements of the atomic structure of the Rydberg lithium atoms and are assembling an ion source to provide a beam of ions which we will collide with the atoms.

We also perform experiments in the field of applied magnetism. We have measured the magnetic properties of different types of magnetic stainless steel at room and at cryogenic temperature. We have also designed, constructed, and tested an electronic circuit to automatically magnetize and demagnetize magnetic materials.

Students »

Previous Research »

General Lab Images »

Rydberg Lithium »

Ions and Collisions »

Magnetism »

Courses

Course catalog description of the physics major>

Publications

1. Frequency Stabilization of Multiple Lasers and Rydberg Atom Spectroscopy.
Paul Oxley and Patrick Collins, Applied Physics B: Lasers and Optics, DOI: 10.1007/s00340-010-4154-z (2010).

2. Measurement of the Lithium 10p Fine Structure Interval and Absolute Energy
Paul Oxley and Patrick Collins, Physical review A 81, 024501 (2010).

3. Apparatus for magnetization and efficient demagnetization of magnetic materials. Paul Oxley, IEEE Transactions on Magnetics 45, pp. 3274-3283 (2009)

4 . Magnetic properties of stainless steels at room and cryogenic temperature. Paul Oxley, Jennifer Goodell, and Robert Molt, Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 321, pp. 2107-2014 (2009)

5. Finite element solution of Laplace's equation for ion-atom chambers. Jacob Golde, Janine Shertzer, and Paul Oxley, American Journal of Physics 77, pp81-86 (2009).

6. A Millimeter-Wave Achromatic Half Wave Plate. S. Hanany, H. Hubmayr, B. Johnson, T. Matsumura, P. Oxley, M. Thibodeau, Applied Optics 44, 22 (2005).

7. Development of a Cryogenic Eddy Current Motor for Driving a Superconducting Magnetic Bearing. T. Matsumura, S. Hanany, J.R. Hull, B. Johnson, T. Jones, P. Oxley, Physica C Vol. 426-431, pp. 746-751, (2005).

8. The EBEX Experiment. P. Oxley, P. Ade, C. Baccigalupi, P. deBernardis, H{M. Cho, M.J. Devlin, S. Hanany, B.R. Johnson, T. Jones, A.T. Lee, T. Matsumura, A.D. Miller, M. Milligan, T. Renbarger, H.G. Spieler, R. Stompor, G.S. Tucker, M. Zaldarriaga, Earth Observing Systems IX. Edited by W.L. Barnes and J.J. Butler, Proceedings of the SPIE 5543, pp. 320-331 (2004).

9. Aperture Method to Determine the Density and Geometry of Antiparticle Plasmas.
P. Oxley, N.S. Bowden, R. Parrott, A. Speck, C. Storry, J.N. Tan, M. Wessels, G. Gabrielse, D. Grzonka, W. Oelert, G. Schepers, T. Sefzick, J. Walz, H. Pittner, T.W. Haensch, E.A. Hessels, Physics Letters B 595, 60 (2004).

10 . Observations of Cold Antihydrogen. J.N. Tan, N.S. Bowden, G. Gabrielse, P. Oxley, A. Speck, C.H. Storry, M. Wessels, D. Grzonka, W. Oelert, G. Schepers, T. Sefzick, J. Walz, H. Pittner, T.W. Haensch, E.A. Hessels, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 214, pp. 22-30 (2004).

11 . Driven Production of Cold Antihydrogen and the First Measured Distribution of Antihydrogen States. G. Gabrielse, N.S. Bowden, P. Oxley, A. Speck, C.H. Storry, J.N. Tan, M. Wessels, D. Grzonka, W. Oelert, G. Schepers, T. Sefzick, J. Walz, H. Pittner, T.W. Haensch, E.A. Hessels, Physical Review Letters 89, 233401 (2002).

12. Background-Free Observation of Cold Antihydrogen and a Field-Ionization Analysis of Its States. G. Gabrielse, N.S. Bowden, P. Oxley, A. Speck, C.H. Storry, J.N. Tan, M. Wessels, D. Grzonka, W. Oelert, G. Schepers, T. Sefzick, J. Walz, H. Pittner, T.W. Haensch, E.A. Hessels, Physical Review Letters 89, 213401 (2002).

13 . Stacking of Cold Antiprotons. G. Gabrielse, N.S. Bowden, P. Oxley, A. Speck, C.H. Storry, J.N. Tan, M. Wessels, D. Grzonka, W. Oelert, G. Schepers, T. Sefzick, J. Walz, H. Pittner, T.W. Haensch, E.A. Hessels, Physics Letters B 548, 140 (2002).

14. Cold Antihydrogen and CPT. G. Gabrielse, J.N. Tan, N.S. Bowden, P. Oxley, C.H. Storry, M.Wessels, A. Speck, J. Estrada, P. Yesley, D. Grzonka, W. Oelert, G. Schepers, T. Sefzick, J.Walz, Proceedings of the Second Meeting on CPT and Lorentz Symmetry, edited by V. Alan Kostelecky, World Scientific, Singapore, pp. 225-234 (2002).

15. Cold Antimatter Plasmas, and Aspirations for Cold Antihydrogen. G. Gabrielse, J.N. Tan, N.S. Bowden, P. Oxley, C.H. Storry, M. Wessels, A. Speck, J. Estra-
da, P. Yesley, T. Squires, D. Grzonka, W. Oelert, G. Schepers, T. Sefzick, J. Walz, Non- Neutral Plasma Physics IV, AIP Conference Proceedings, volume 606, edited by F. Anderegg, L. Schweikhard, C.F. Driscoll, American Institute of Physics, Melville, NY, pp. 51-62 (2002).

16. First Positron Cooling of Antiprotons. G. Gabrielse, J. Estrada, J.N. Tan, P. Yesley, N.S. Bowden, P. Oxley, T. Roach, C.H. Storry, M. Wessels, J. Tan, D. Grzonka, W. Oelert, G. Schepers, T. Sefzick, W. Breunlich, M. Carngelli, H. Fuhrmann, R. King, R. Ursin, H. Zmeskal, H. Kalinowsky, C. Wesdorp, J. Walz,
K.S.E. Eikema, T.W. Haensch, Physics Letters B 507, 1 (2001).