Cold Rydberg Gases: creating a cold Rydberg gas
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Creation of a cold Rydberg gas
We create a cold Rydberg gas by exciting rubidium atoms in a UHV
magneto-optical trap (MOT). This MOT is contained within a cryostat which
allows us to control the background radiation temperature which strongly
effects the lifetimes of the Rydberg atoms.
photo of our
experimental set-up. current as of 9/2003.
loaded by a cold, slow beam of atoms from a low-velocity intense source (LVIS).
The Rb atoms are seen as a bright "donut". The hole is created by a
hole in our retro-optic, through which atoms are pushed out into the
Low Velocity Intense Source (LVIS)
In the MOT, atoms cycle between the 5S1/2 (ground
state) and the 5P3/2 state. To create Rydberg atoms we excite
atoms from the 5P3/2 state into nd-, or ns-
Rydberg states using a 10ns blue pulse. Since the atoms are initially
cooled and trapped, they remain cool after the Rydberg excitation
though they are no longer trapped.
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