An atom faucet
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We present a simple and efficient source of slow atoms. From a background vapour loaded magneto-optical trap (MOT), a thin laser beam extracts a continuous jet of cold rubidium atoms. The jet that is typical to leaking MOT systems is created without any optical parts placed inside the vacuum chamber. We also present a simple three dimensional numerical simulation of the atomic motion in the presence of these multiple saturating laser fields combined with the inhomogeneous magnetic field of the MOT. At a pressure of PRb87 = 10-8 mbar and with a moderate laser power of 10 mW per beam, we generate a flux Φ = 1.3×108 atoms/s with a mean velocity of 14 m/s and a divergence of 10 mrad.
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