Cold Rydberg Gases: creating a cold Rydberg gas Prev   Top   Next
 

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.

 It  is 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 secondary MOT.

 

        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.
 
Rydberg excitation scheme.
 
 

Prev TopNext
Top of page