MOT cloud drop

For the 2013 ALPhA immersion workshop on teaching with the magneto-optical trap (MOT), we hosted two visitors who came to learn about the MOT and how to set one up to use in a teaching context. By the second day, they had already taken apart our working setup, and reinstalled it on the optical table. Here is a video of the trap in action. When the magnetic field is turned off, the atoms drop out of the trap (due to a combination of gravity and an unbalanced optical force in the vertical direction). This cloud has between 15 and 20 million atoms before the trap is released.

 

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