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STUDIES OF COLD CHROMIUM ATOMS IN MAGNETIC AND OPTICAL TRAPS: steps towards Bose-Einstein Condensation

Authors
  • Chicireanu, Radu
Publication Date
Oct 25, 2007
Source
HAL-INRIA
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown
External links

Abstract

In the perspective of studying dipole-dipole interactions in quantum degenerate Bose and Fermi gases, we have built an experimental setup for cooling and trapping Chromium (Cr) atoms. In this respect, one needs to use appropriate technological solution, such as a high-temperature oven (∼ 1500◦C) and a laser system providing high laser power at 425nm. Our experiments allow us to obtain magneto-optical traps for the two main isotopes of Cr (i.e. the bosonic 52Cr and the fermionic 53Cr). These traps are characterized by large light-assisted collisional loss rates, which have been studied both experimentally and theoretically. The existence of radiative decay channels towards two long-lived metastable states allows the magnetic trapping and accumulation of fairly large atom numbers of cold Cr atoms. We have studied the possibility of modifying the shape of these traps with the use of RF magnetic fields, which allowed the study of collisional properties of Cr atoms in the metastable states. Finally, we have demonstrated a new continuous loading technique of an optical dipole trap with more than one million metastable 52Cr atoms, at 100μK. The transfer into the ground state and the polarization in the lowest-energy Zeeman sublevel opens the perspective for reaching the Bose-Einstein condensation of Cr through evaporative cooling.

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