Optical pumping of TeH+: Implications for the search for varying mp/me

Patrick R. Stollenwerk, Mark G. Kokish, Antonio G.S. de Oliveira-Filho, Fernando R. Ornellas, Brian C. Odom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Molecular overtone transitions provide optical frequency transitions sensitive to variation in the proton-to-electron mass ratio (m = mp/me). However, robust molecular state preparation presents a challenge critical for achieving high precision. Here, we characterize infrared and optical-frequency broadband laser cooling schemes for TeH+, a species with multiple electronic transitions amenable to sustained laser control. Using rate equations to simulate laser cooling population dynamics, we estimate the fractional sensitivity to m attainable using TeH+. We find that laser cooling of TeH+ can lead to significant improvements on current m variation limits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number53
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Laser cooling
  • Molecular ion
  • Proton-electron mass ratio
  • Time variation of constants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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