Enrico Fermi Colloquium Friday 24 January at 11:30
Wed, 22 Jan 2020, 04:40 p.m.

The hydrogen molecule is the smallest neutral chemical entity and a benchmark system of molecular spectroscopy. The comparison between highly accurate measurements of transition frequencies and level energies with quantum calculations including all known phenomena (relativistic, vacuum polarization and self energy) provides a tool to search for physical phenomena in the realm of the unknown: are there forces beyond the three included in the Standard Model of physics plus gravity, are there extra dimensions beyond the 3+1 describing space time ? Comparison of laboratory wavelengths of transitions in hydrogen may be compared with the lines observed during the epoch of the early Universe to verify whether fundamental constants of Nature have varied over cosmological time. These concepts, as well as the precision laboratory used for such searches of new physics will be discussed. In particular the most recent results on Doppler-free spectroscopic observations of the neutral HD molecule (via cavity-enhanced spectroscopy) and of the HD+ ionic species (via sympathetic cooling in a Paul trap) will be highlighted.

Gaudia Mantelli