After a bit of struggle we have now trapped Yb atoms in MOT. The big bright blob is the fluorescence from the trapped atoms at 399nm.
We just observed the first fluorescence of Yb in the vacuum chamber of our new experiment: the fuzzy white line in the photo is caused by hot Yb atoms scattering light from a 399nm beam. Now that we know that there is Yb vapor in our chamber, we will proceed to laser-cooling these atoms with multiple beams.
After almost two months of downtown with a completely wrapped up experiment we are looking a lot forward to return to our lab – and to move in to the two neighboring rooms, which will be lab-space for our new experimental setup, where we will work with ytterbium.
Some final work is still needed before the Great Day of Unwrapping, but it is indeed drawing near.
Some pictures of the wrapped experiment can be found here.
Within 6 months, we have rebuilt our Rydberg apparatus from scratch in our new lab. What was a completely empty room in early April is now the coolest place (2 μK) at SDU. We are currently putting the last touches on our Rydberg excitation system, then we are ready to go! You can see some pictures from the new lab and of the first steps towards single-photon interaction at SDU here.
We have transferred atoms from our magneto-optical trap into the crossed dipole trap for the first time. The image below shows an absorption image of the atoms after releasing them from this trap (and a short time-of-flight of 400us).
We have trapped the first Rubidium atoms in a magneto-optical trap in our new setup. The black & white image shows the fluorescence from the trapped atoms. The photo shows the optics and magnetic field generating coils required for this trap.