Magneto-optical trap and its application to ultra-cold atom collision studies
Hulet, Randall G.
Master of Arts thesis
We have successfully trapped $\sp7$Li in a vapor cell magneto-optical trap (MOT). The trap is studied in detail and the parameters are measured from the experiment. The trapping mechanism has been understood in terms of the radiation force and a simple one dimensional model is used in interpreting and predicting the experimental results. The cold-cold atom collision rate coefficient is measured in a beam MOT. The two collision mechanisms, fine structure changing and radiative escape, are discussed in a molecular picture. One of the channels, the fine structure changing channel, can be turned on and off by the experimental conditions, namely the laser intensity in this experiment. The rate coefficient for each mechanism has been determined from the experiment.
Atomic physics; Optics; Physics; Electromagnetics