Magneto-Optic Trapping of Rubidium Atoms

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Magneto-Optic Trapping of Rubidium Atoms

    • Robert Fletcher, Georgia Institute of Technology
    • Advisor: Georg Raithel, University of Michigan
    • Supported by the NSF REU Program


Atom Trap Outcomes

Procedure for Atom Trapping

  • Excite ground-state atoms to an excited state.

  • Use several laser beams to help confine atoms.

  • Apply a magnetic field gradient to help confine atoms.

Considerations for Traps

  • Rate of atom decay from excited to ground states.

  • Hyper-fine splitting of energy levels

  • Doppler shifting of laser frequencies

  • Polarizations of laser beams and of the magnetic field

Trap Apparatus

  • Optics, including laser, mirrors, and wave plates

  • Laser control systems

  • Anti-Helmholtz magnet coils

  • Vacuum system

  • Trap Detector

Uses for Atom Trapping

  • High-resolution spectroscopy

  • Collision studies

  • Bose-Einstein Condensation

  • Atom Optics

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