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  Bob Jones   Bob Jones
Francis H. Smith Professor of Physics , Experimental Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics,Experimental Chemical Physics
Ph.D., 1990, Virginia

rrj3c@Virginia.EDU email       Web >

Much of the current research in atomic physics focuses on the use of extremely well-controlled electromagnetic fields to coherently manipulate the internal and external degrees of freedom of atoms. Jones and his students use lasers to cool and trap atoms, to spin molecules in order to align their axes along a particular direction in the laboratory, and to drive electrons within atoms and molecules in particular directions at specific times. These optical techniques serve as tools which allow them to view very fast processes within atoms and molecules and to perform experiments exploring controlled interactions between atoms and between electrons within atoms. Some of their experiments exploit the extremely slow motion and extreme electric-field sensitivity of electrons in highly excited Rydberg atoms. Others utilize very intense, extremely brief, pulsed laser fields which can rip electrons from their parent ions and then drive them back and forth as probes of the atomic or molecular potential. Current projects include: the control and observation of time-dependent electron-electron interactions within atoms; the manipulation and exploration of dipole-dipole and few-body interactions in cold Rydberg gases; laser induced, field-free orientation of molecules; controlled dissociation and ionization of molecules in strong asymmetric laser fields; attosecond electron wavepackets as probes of molecular potentials; and high-harmonic generation from molecules.


Ultrafast Laser Atomic Physics Group


M.R. Kutteruf and R.R. Jones, "Probing Electronic Coherence in a Gas of Dipole-Dipole Coupled Rydberg Atoms," Physics Review Letters 108, 013001 (2012).

K.J. Betsch, D.W. Pinkham, and R.R. Jones, "Directional Emission of Multiply-Charged Ions During Dissociative Ionization in Asymmetric Two-Color Laser Fields," Physical Review Letters 105, 223002 (2010).

Brett A. Sickmiller and R.R. Jones, “Effects of Phase-Matching on High Harmonic Generation from Aligned N2," Physical Review A 80, 031802(R) (2009).

R.S. Minns, M.R. Kutteruf, H. Zaidi, L. Ko and R.R. Jones, “Preserving Coherence in Rydberg Quantum Bits,” Physical Review Letters 97, 040504 (2006).

S.N. Pisharody and R.R. Jones, “2-Electron Dynamics of an Atom,” Science 303, 813 (2004).