Laser cooling and trapping of Yb from a thermal source

  • U. D. Rapol
  • A. Krishna
  • A. Wasan
  • V. NatarajanEmail author


We have successfully loaded a magneto-optic trap for Yb atoms from a thermal source without the use of a Zeeman slower. The source is placed close to the trapping region so that it provides a large flux of atoms that can be cooled and captured. The atoms are cooled on the \({^1{\rm S}_0} \leftrightarrow {^1{\rm P}_1}\) transition at 398.9 nm. We have loaded all seven stable isotopes of Yb into the trap including the rarest isotope, 168Yb. For the most abundant isotope (174Yb), we load more than 108 atoms into the trap within 1 s. We have characterized the source by studying the loading rate and the loss rate for different isotopes and at different trapping powers. We extract values for the loss rate due to collisions and due to branching into low-lying metastable levels. At the highest trap densities, we find evidence of additional loss due to intra-trap collisions.


Stable Isotope Loss Rate Abundant Isotope Additional Loss Trap Density 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. D. Rapol
    • 1
  • A. Krishna
    • 1
  • A. Wasan
    • 1
  • V. Natarajan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia

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