Abstract

This thesis reports an optical dipole trap for atomic calcium. The dipole trap is loaded from a magneto-optical trap (MOT) of calcium atoms cooled near the Doppler limit (~1 mK). The dipole trap is formed by a large-frame argon ion laser focused to 20 microns into the center of the MOT. This laser runs single-line at 488 nm with a maximum power of 10.6 watts. These parameters result in a trap of 125 mK for calcium atoms in the 4s3d 1D2 state. The 488 nm light also photo-ionizes the trapped atoms due to a near-resonant transition to the 4s4f 1F3 level. These ions leave the trap and are detected to determine the trap decay rate. By measuring this decay rate as a function of 488 nm intensity, we determine the 1F3 photo-ionization cross section at this wavelength to be approximately 230 Mb.

Degree

MS

College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Physics and Astronomy

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2005-03-10

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd713

Keywords

optical dipole trap, calcium, atomic physics, atomic spectroscopy, laser cooling, ionization cross section, magneto optical trap

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