Physics 111: Atom Trapping (MOT) Physics 111 Advanced Laboratory. Professor Dan Stamper-Kurn This video accompanies the Atom Trapping Experiment, providing students with an introduction to the theory, apparatus, and procedures. Experimental physics tends generally toward the interconnected goals of control, clarity and precision: one controls all aspects of a physical environment so as to exhibit sought-after phenomena with the greatest clarity and, thereafter, to test physical theories with demanding precision. The pursuit of these goals is central both to the broad field of ultracold atomic physics, and also to this specific experiment. Here, we make use of laser spectroscopy and electronic feedback to stabilize the frequency of a coherent optical field to roughly one part in 108, allowing us to examine precisely the interactions between atoms and light. We exert control over both the internal dynamics and also the center-of-mass motion of atoms, the building blocks of matter, reaching the lower reaches of the temperature scale and establishing conditions for the study and application of quantum coherence. Our focus is on the technique of laser cooling, wherein the mechanical impacts of atom-light interactions are employed to extinguish the motion of atoms in a dilute gas. Of the many variants of laser cooling, the magneto-optical trap (MOT) is undeniably the workhorse. The experimental targets in this laboratory are twofold: to control the frequency of a single-mode laser using laser spectroscopy and electronic feedback, and to produce and characterize a vapor-cell MOT of 85Rb. In pursuing these targets, we hope you will take the opportunity to learn about atomic physics and to gain experimental skills in laser spectroscopy, laser optics, and feedback control. http://advancedlab.org
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This video is a part of a lecture series from of berkeley