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An ‘‘atom buncher’’ for controlling the concentration of gaseous samples has been conceptualized, evaluated theoretically, fabricated, and tested with excellent results. In effect, the atom buncher greatly increases the probability that a free atom will be in a small detector volume at a desired time. This was accomplished by using cryogenic techniques to condense atoms on a small spot and a pulsed laser to momentarily heat the spot to release the atoms at the desired time. Our work on noble gas atom counting by using resonance ionization spectroscopy is discussed as one example of the applications of the atom buncher.