The research group led by Vít Procházka is focused on the field of nuclear quantum optics, a rapidly advancing research area includes the study of gamma and X-ray radiation, nuclear systems, and their interactions. This research seeks to address several pivotal challenges, including stimulated emission within nuclear systems, lasing phenomena, coherent manipulation of nuclear systems, and the interactions involving gamma photons. One particularly promising approach for investigating the interplay between gamma radiation and nuclear ensembles is the utilization of materials containing so called Mössbauer nuclei. These nuclei constitute a system of isotopes characterized by energy transitions ranging from 5 to 100 keV, exhibiting the phenomenon of recoilless absorption/emission, known as the Mössbauer effect.
The primary focus of this group centers on the utilization of radioactive gamma radiation sources within the field of quantum optics, with a predominant emphasis on the isotope 57Fe, renowned for its suitability in this type of research. Our research consists of three core objectives:
- Theoretical description: The first objective is the development of a theoretical framework for describing the propagation of gamma radiation through the resonant medium of nuclear ensembles. Semi-classical theoretical models can be efficiently applied for data analysis, simulation and optimization of experiments. Quantum mechanical frameworks then show promise in describing advanced physical phenomena including the stimulated emission.
- Experiments: The second objective comprise conducting experiments in the domain of nuclear quantum optics, with a primary focus on the propagation of radiation through environments containing resonating nuclei. The aim is to generate gamma radiation pulses of arbitrary shape and the desired polarization. This manipulation involves mainly the utilization of ultrasonic vibrational techniques.
- Equipment Development: The third objective involves the ongoing development of equipment essential for our research. This involved the development of electronics for data acquisition, the execution of coincidence experiments, and the design and construction of experimental setups. Furthermore, we are actively engaged in the development of gamma-optics components.
Our laboratory is equipped with a comprehensive array of resources, including:
- More than five spectrometers, facilitating a diverse range of gamma optics experiments.
- Fast gamma detectors based on scintillation materials.
- 4π detectors for conducting lifetime and gamma echo experiments.
- A fully equipped chemical laboratory, equiped tools for handling 57Fe enriched materials and 57Co, enabling the creation of radioactive sources tailored to specific research objectives.
- A wide assortment of electronic equipment, encompassing oscilloscopes, generators, Doppler modulators, high-frequency piezomodulators, coincidence units, detector power supplies, and circuit board fabrication tools.
- Room temperature Mössbauer spectrometers.
- A Mössbauer spectrometer with a resonant detector.
- Two cryostats designed for low-temperature Mössbauer spectroscopy.
- A cryostat designed for Mössbauer spectroscopy in magnetic fields of up to 7 Tesla, allowing for parallel or perpendicular alignment with the gamma photon beam.
- Regulatory authorization for the handling of both closed and open radioisotopes, specifically 119Sn and 57Co.