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  • Gooch & Housego Wins £364K to Develop 'Freeze Ray'
Jul 2015
TORQUAY, England, July 30, 2015 — Gooch & Housego PLC has been awarded £364,000 (about $569,000) in U.K. funding to lead development of a miniature, high-power fiber system for laser cooling in practical environments.

The Freeze-Ray project also involves e2v Technologies PLC of Essex, which will develop a compact vacuum chamber with an integrated magneto optical trap, and the Midlands Ultracold Atom Research Centre at the University of Birmingham, which will demonstrate the system in state-of-the-art atom cooling experiments.

Low-temperature atoms exhibit special properties and can be used to create accurate time standards and gyroscopes that can in turn improve the accuracy of GPS and inertial navigation systems. The technology can also be used to create the most sensitive magnetometers and gravimeters, which could lead to more accurate, economical and environmentally friendly resource exploration. Freeze-Ray's goal is to create a system that can be used aboard ships, submarines and satellites.

To be developed by Gooch & Housego's System Technology Group (STG), the laser will have an output power >1 W at 780 nm. It will be accompanied by a polarization-maintaining fiber splitter network with collimators.

"Freeze-Ray is an important project for the STG, demonstrating our ability to combine photonic packaging, photonic device miniaturization and laser manufacturing," said group leader Andrew Robertson.

laser cooling
A process and method by which manipulation and orientation of a given number of directed laser beams decreases the motion of a group of atoms or molecules such that their internal thermodynamic temperatures reach near absolute zero.  The !997 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Steven Chu, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William D. Phillips for the development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light. 
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