Research Opportunites

Magneto-Optical Trap

By using carefully controlled lasers and magnetic fields, atoms can be slowed down from their normal frenzied activity and trapped as a extremely cold cloud. In the summer of 2009, Judith Olson '11 and I embarked on a project to build a Magneto-Optical Trap (MOT) apparatus. The MOT will trap Rubidium atoms at a temperature within a fraction of a degree of absolute zero. Our first goal is to build the electronic and mechanical system to produce laser light of a precisely controlled frequency. Following that we will build the optical apparatus to produce the MOT and make measurements of the cold cloud. Judith worked on this project as her senior thesis for the BS degree. In the summer of 2011, Ryan Jefferis '12 worked on improving the temperature stability of the lasers and Josh Cheng '13 worked on reducing noise in the laser light sensors.

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