2012 BFY Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: W35 - Laser Cooling and Trapping for Advanced Teaching Laboratories
Abstract: A considerable number of modern atomic physics experiments rely on laser cooling and trapping of neutral atomic samples. Cutting edge work with Bose-Einstein Condensates, degenerate Fermi gases, dipolar gases, optical lattices, atomic clocks and quantum computation all start with the production of a magneto-optical trap, (or MOT). In an educational environment, the MOT offers a fertile landscape for teaching a host of theoretical concepts, such as atomic structure including fine and hyperfine structure, the Zeeman effect, scattering, laser cooling, and polarization states of light; as well as relevant experimental techniques, such as spectroscopy, optics, feedback control systems and measurement techniques. Commercially available equipment has recently become available to bring this exciting and important class of techniques into the teaching laboratory environment, making laser cooling experiments possible even at institutions without substantial atomic physics infrastructure or expertise.

In this workshop we will present a system that enables the production of cold atoms in a MOT in an advanced undergraduate teaching environment. Participants in the workshop will:
-- Receive a brief introduction into laser cooling and trapping of atoms
-- Align optics into the correct configuration for producing a MOT
-- Tune and lock diode lasers to the correct frequencies for laser cooling
-- Produce a MOT
-- Measure atom number in the cloud
Abstract Type: Workshop

Workshop Documents

Workshop Document: Download the Workshop Document

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Heather Lewandowski
University of Colorado-Boulder