Physics 500 Fall 2006

unmUniversity of New Mexico

Department of Physics and Astronomy



Introduction to Laser Cooling and Trapping of Atoms



General Information


Instructor: Prof. Ivan Deutsch (my research group web page)

Phys/Astro Room 24, Phone: 277-1502



Prequisites: Physics 521-522 (or equivalent)


Overview: What began as simple technique to be used for improved spectroscopy and precision measurement has blossomed into a powerful tool for fundamental studies in low temperature physics. New applications in matter wave interferometry, quantum degenerate gases, and quantum information processing are now being actively pursued. The inventions have lead to two Nobel Prizes in physics: 1997 (for atomic laser cooling) and 2001 (for Bose-Einstein condensation). This seminar is an introduction to theory and experiment in laser cooling and trapping of neutral atoms and ions. A series of lectures for ~7 weeks will be followed by student presentations on contemporary research papers. Topics to be covered include:

• Basics of atom-photon interaction.

• Doppler cooling.

• Optical molasses and magneto-optic traps.

• Subdoppler polarization and polarization gradient cooling.

• Ion traps and resolved sideband cooling.

• Optical lattices.



Resource Materials:



Tentative Schedule of Lectures





  Overview: History of laser cooling,

Lorentz oscillator model, two-level atom. Forces on atoms.



Doppler Cooling: Optical molasses and the Doppler Limit.




Dipole traps, Magneto-optic trap, and ion traps


Cooling trapped particles -- The Lamb-Dicke effect.


Resolved sideband laser cooling.


Subdoppler cooling: Polarization graient cooling


Optical Lattices

Oct. 30-Dec. 15

Student presentations

Review Talks: Subjects

I. Laser Cooling


III. Trapping


II. Atom Optics


III. Degenerate Quantum Gases


IV. Ultracold Collisions


V. Quantum Information/Control