Atoms in a MOT

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© Martin Zwierlein.

The MOT is simple in concept, but an atom-trapping apparatus is likely to be complicated, as is the one shown here. The apparatus requires ultra-high vacuum, and needs lots of ports for optical access. The coils shown around this apparatus are not part of the MOT, but merely serve to null out Earth's field. A cloud of sodium atoms trapped in the MOT can be seen fluorescing in the center of the trap. The cloud of atoms is the yellowish blob in the middle of the image. (Unit: 5)