Single Atoms Trapped up to 3 s
In the April 4 edition of Physical Review Letters, scientists at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena reported trapping times of up to 3 s for single cesium atoms in an intracavity far-off resonance trap. Beyond its importance for research in cavity quantum electrodynamics, they suggest the trapping scheme may have implications in quantum information science.
The approach exploited the "magic" wavelength of 935.6 nm for the trap, at which the sum of the ac-Stark shifts from the allowed optical transitions almost equally shift the relevant ground and excited states in cesium. The apparatus was loaded with atoms from a magneto-optical trap and featured two orthogonal pairs of lasers for cooling and repumping captured atoms.
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