laser cooling

Tag archives for laser cooling

I have to admit, I’m writing this one up partly because it lets me use the title reference. It’s a cool little paper, though, demonstrating the lengths that physicists will go to in pursuit of precision measurements. I’m just going to pretend I didn’t see that dorky post title, and ask what this is about.…

The third category in our look at lab apparatus, after vacuum hardware and lasers and optics is the huge collection of electronic gear that we use to control the experiments. I’ll borrow the sales term “test and measurement” as a catch-all description, though this is really broader than what you’ll usually find in that category.…

Following on yesterday’s discussion of the vacuum hardware needed for cooling atoms, let’s talk about the other main component of the apparatus: the optical system. The primary technique used for making cold atoms is laser cooling, and I’m sure it will come as no surprise that this requires lasers, and where there are lasers, there…

Over in the reader request thread, Richard asks for experimental details: I’d be interested in (probably a series) of posts on how people practically actually do cold atoms experiments because I don’t really know. I needed to take some new publicity photos of the lab anyway, so this is a good excuse to bust out…

Murphy Violation in Science

Over at Unqualified Offerings, Thoreau proposes an an experimental test of Murphy’s Law using the lottery. While amusing, it’s ultimately flawed– Murphy’s Law is something of the form: Anything that can go wrong, will. Accordingly, it can only properly be applied to situations in which there is a reasonable expectation of success, unless something goes…

Voting has closed on the Laser Smackdown poll, with 772 people recording their opinion on the most amazing of the many things that have been done with lasers in the fifty years since the invention of the first working laser (see the Laserfest web site for more on the history and applications of lasers). The…

We’re just over 600 votes in the Laser Smackdown poll in honor of the 50th anniversary of the laser, as of early Friday morning. I notice that it has moved off the front page of the blog, though, so here’s another signal-boosting repost, just so we have as many votes as possible, to establish maximum…

As of 1:45 Monday, 217 people have cast votes in the Laser Smackdown poll. That’s not bad, but it’s currently being handily beaten by the 271 people who have voted for a favorite system of units. The nice thing about using actual poll services for this sort of thing, though, is that I can re-post…

What’s the application? Using lasers to reduce the speed of a sample of atoms, thereby reducing their temperature to a tiny fraction of a degree above absolute zero. What problem(s) is it the solution to? 1) “How can I make this sample of atoms move slowly enough to measure their properties very accurately?” 2) “How…