12-15 July 2011
Saint George Hotel
Africa/Johannesburg timezone

Development of a laser cooling and magneto-optical trapping experiment for Rubidium 87 atoms

14 Jul 2011, 17:00


Poster Presentation Track C - Lasers, Optics and Spectroscopy Poster2


Mr Charles Rigby (Laser Research Institute, Stellenbosch University)


A magneto optical trap (MOT) is capable of trapping a vapor cloud consisting of atoms cooled down to the micro Kelvin range. Three orthogonal pairs of counter-propagating laser beams of the correct circular polarisation form an optical molasses which facilitates the cooling of neutral atoms. Additionally a spatially non-uniform magnetic field produced by two current carrying coils in a Maxwell gradient configuration is used to trap the cooled atoms. In this poster the effects of the trap parameters, including the laser beam intensity and frequency detuning, beam diameter and magnetic field gradient, on the number of trapped atoms are discussed. The nature of the beam polarisation and its importance in the context of the experiment is measured and discussed. The current status of our development of an experimental setup for laser cooling and trapping of 87Rb atoms in vacuum with the aid of a MOT is presented.

Consider for a student <br> &nbsp; award (Yes / No)? Yes
Would you like to <br> submit a short paper <br> for the Conference <br> Proceedings (Yes / No)? No
Level (Hons, MSc, <br> &nbsp; PhD, other)? PhD

Primary author

Mr Charles Rigby (Laser Research Institute, Stellenbosch University)


Dr Christine Steenkamp (Laser Research Institute, Stellenbosch University) Prof. Erich Rohwer (Laser Research Institute, Stellenbosch University)

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