Approaching Bose-Einstein condensation of metastable neon: Over 109 trapped atoms

S. J.M. Kuppens, J. G.C. Tempelaars, V. P. Mogendorff, B. J. Claessens, H. C.W. Beijerinck, E. J.D. Vredenbregt

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We present an experimental study of the loading of a magneto-optical trap (MOT) from a brightened and slowed beam of metastable neon atoms. The unprecedented high numbers of 9×10920Ne and 3×109 22Ne metastable atoms are trapped under unconventional trap conditions as compared to metastable helium traps, such as low intensity and small detuning. These cause the MOT to have an extraordinarily large volume on the order of 1cm3 and a typical peak density of 1010 atoms/cm3. A simple Doppler model is discussed which explains why the optimum is found under these conditions. The model includes the seventh beam necessary for the last slowing step before loading.
Original languageEnglish
Article number023410
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Review A: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2002


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