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Measurement of temperature of laser cooled atoms by one-dimensional expansion in a magneto-optical trap

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2 Author(s)
Pradhan, S. ; Atomic Physics & Quantum Optics Section, Laser & Plasma Technology Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai 400 085, India ; Jagatap, B.N.

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We discuss a simple time of flight technique for measurement of temperature of a cold cloud in a magneto-optical trap (MOT). The technique is based on spatiotemporal fluorescence imaging of the cloud that is allowed to undergo one-dimensional expansion in the presence of the orthogonal two-dimensional configuration of laser beams by temporal modulation of a pair of counterpropagating trapping beams in the MOT. We show that, in the time scale 0≤t≪5 ms, the expansion of the cloud is ballistic and the temperature can be extracted from the time variation of the rms size of the cloud in the expansion direction. The reliability of the technique has been established by comparing the results with release and recapture method, and also by fitting them to the known temperature scaling law.

Published in:

Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:79 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Jan 2008

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