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An Ultracold Neutral Plasma Created by Photoionizing Laser-Cooled Xenon



T C. Killian, S Kulin, S L. Rolston


We create an ultracold neutral plasma by photoionization of laser-cooled xenon atoms. The charge carrier density is as high as 2 x10^{9} cm^{-3}, and the temperatures of electrons and ions are as low as 100 mK and 10 uK, respectively. Such low temperatures are unprecedented in neutral plasma physics. Plasma behavior is evident in the trapping of electrons by the positive ion cloud when the Debye screening length becomes smaller than the size of the sample. We produce strongly coupled plasmas with parameters such that the kinetic energy is small compared to the Coulomb interaction energy between nearest neighbors. This is the reverse of the usual situation for classical Debye plasmas. Plasma oscillations are observed and serve as a probe of the electron density distribution.
Proceedings Title
Sigma Xi Post Doctoral Poster Presentations, 2000
Conference Dates
February 17-18, 2000
Conference Title
Sigma Xi Web Page


electron density distribution, laser-cooled xenon atoms, neutral plasma physics, plasma behavior, plasmas, ultracold neutral plasma


Killian, T. , Kulin, S. and Rolston, S. (2000), An Ultracold Neutral Plasma Created by Photoionizing Laser-Cooled Xenon, Sigma Xi Post Doctoral Poster Presentations, 2000 (Accessed June 21, 2024)


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Created February 1, 2000, Updated February 17, 2017