A freely falling magneto-optical trap drop tower experiment
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We experimentally demonstrate the possibility of preparing ultracold atoms in the environment of weightlessness at the earth-bound short-term microgravity laboratory Drop Tower Bremen, a facility of ZARM – University of Bremen. Our approach is based on a freely falling magneto-optical trap (MOT) drop tower experiment performed within the ATKAT collaboration (“Atom-Catapult”) as a preliminary part of the QUANTUS pilot project (“Quantum Systems in Weightlessness”) pursuing a Bose–Einstein condensate (BEC) in microgravity at the drop tower [1, 2].
Furthermore we give a complete account of the specific drop tower requirements to realize a compact and robust setup for trapping and cooling neutral rubidium 87Rb atoms in microgravity conditions. We also present the results of the first realized freely falling MOT and further accomplished experiments during several drops.
The goal of the preliminary ATKAT pilot project is to initiate a basis for extended atom-optical experiments which aim at realizing, observing and investigating ultracold quantum matter in microgravity.
KeywordsDrop Tower Gate Sensor Drop Tube Master Laser Ultra High Vacuum Chamber
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