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Communications: Development and characterization of a source of rotationally cold, enriched para-
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In an effort to develop a source of that is almost entirely in a single quantum state , we have successfully generated a plasma that is enriched to in para- at a rotational temperature of 80 K. This enrichment is a result of the nuclear spin selection rules at work in hydrogenic plasmas, which dictate that only para- will form from para-, and that para- can be converted to ortho- by subsequent reaction with . This is the first experimental study in which the and nuclear spin selection rules have been observed at cold temperatures. The ions were produced from a pulsed solenoid valve source, cooled by supersonic expansion, and interrogated via continuous-wave cavity ringdown spectroscopy.
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