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Friday, March 24, 2023

Chilly-Atom Beams with out Laser Cooling

• Physics 16, s3

Researchers reveal a method to produce a sub-10-mK beam of lithium atoms with out utilizing laser cooling, a end result that would enable the exploration of the results of novel quantum regimes.

Chilly-atom beams are utilized in a variety of experiments, from those who exactly measure basic constants to those who contain trapping atoms and maintaining atomic clocks correct. Most of those beams are generated by laser cooling, however this technique solely works on sure components. Extra extensively relevant strategies exist, however they typically produce beams which are both very dim or comparatively sizzling. Now Daniel Heinzen of the College of Texas at Austin and his colleagues reveal a brand new method to generate an intense cold-atom beam [1]. The crew says that this technique may enable researchers to create higher-flux beams than beforehand attainable, opening the potential of revisiting issues whose examine was restricted by beam brightness, similar to these involving atom lasers or atomic holography.

Heinzen and colleagues demonstrated their method utilizing lithium atoms. First, they cooled a nonlithium “provider” gasoline by flowing it out of a nozzle and increasing it, a course of that dropped the temperature from 4.4 Okay to about 1 mK. They then seeded that gasoline with lithium atoms and used a magnetic lens to focus the lithium atoms right into a beam. Utilizing fluorescence spectroscopy, the crew measured the temperature of the beam to be lower than 10 mK and the flux to be round 2.3 × 1012 s–1, parameters corresponding to these of beams made with laser-cooling strategies.

The low temperature may enable to be used of the beam in a meters-long atom storage ring, a risk the crew is especially enthusiastic about. In a storage ring, the atoms may endure additional cooling as they flow into, which means that the beam may attain temperatures the place quantum behaviors dominate, a novel regime for matter-wave physics.

Correction (9 January 2023): A earlier model of this text acknowledged that the beam flux was round 2.3 × 10–12 s–1. It’s truly 2.3 × 1012 s–1.

–Erin Knutson

Erin Knutson is an Affiliate Editor for Bodily Assessment A.


  1. W. Huntington et al., “Intense steady cold-atom supply,” Phys. Rev. A 107, 013302 (2023).

Topic Areas

Atomic and Molecular Physics

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