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2012 BFY Abstract Detail Page
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||A Visible MOT for the Advanced lab: plans to build one and tough questions for how to fund it
||The seminal paper for the undergraduate MOT appeared in AJP in 1995 by C. Wieman and G. Flowers; 'Inexpensive laser cooling and trapping experiment for undergraduate laboratories'. Here they write: "Because of this visual appeal and the current research excitement in this area, we felt that it was highly desirable to develop an atom trapping apparatus that could be incorporated into the undergraduate laboratory classes." From our observations, it seems that while there are extraordinary examples of MOTs thriving in a few undergraduate labs, MOT experiments have yet to be widely implemented into the undergraduate curriculum - likely because they are, in fact, not trivial to make. With the luxury of having been able to consider all the progress the field has had to offer in the 17 years since this 1st undergraduate MOT design paper came out, we present a design for a Visible, Li, MOT (VMOT) that incorporates significant simplifications and straightforward techniques to make this undergraduate experiment more 'do-able'. Moreover, because the VMOT is in the visible we argue that the clarity, ease and educational impact of the experiment are significantly enhanced. Affordability is certainly the next question and while this is not the most expensive experiment, it certainly is beyond the one-time budget of most undergraduate institutions. So, what are the possible sources that one can use for this experiment and in times when assessment and student numbers are rightly being considered, how can this VMOT fare?
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Bridgewater State University
24 Park Avenue
Department of Physics, Conant Science and Mathematics Center, Rm 218
Phone: 508 531-2080
David P. DeMille, Yale University