In the Whitaker Lab we are in the process of rebuilding the lab we moved from Williams College, which was the second successful BEC machine built at an all-undergraduate institution. In our system atoms are precooled in a magneto-optical trap (MOT) by diode lasers to temperatures of a few hundred microKelvin. Once the atoms are collected in our MOT, we transfer them into an optical trap provided by a powerful CO2laser we call ‘Bernie’. Atoms are further cooled in the optical trap from the CO2 laser to temperatures below 1 microKelvin, where they form a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC).
Academic Coordinator of Physics and Astronomy