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Summary form only given. The interest in optical dipole traps as an elegant and simple way to store laser-cooled neutral atoms has rapidly increased. Far-off-resonance optical dipole traps can confine atoms in all ground states for a long time with a very small ground state relaxation time. In contrast to previous work, the magneto-optical trap presented here describes experiments performed with a few atoms, with the atom number ranging from 1 to 10. The precise control of a deterministic number of atoms is crucial in many experiments, e.g. in cavity QED and quantum information processing.
Date of Conference: 10-15 Sept. 2000