Magneto-optical Trap

A magneto-optical trap (abbreviated MOT) is a device that uses both laser cooling with magneto-optical trapping in order to produce samples of cold, trapped, neutral atoms at temperatures as low as several microkelvins, two or three times the recoil limit (see Doppler cooling limit). By combining the small momentum of a single photon with a velocity and spatially dependent absorption cross section and a large number of absorption-spontaneous emission cycles, atoms with initial velocities of hundreds of metres per second can be slowed to tens of centimetres per second.

Although charged particles can be trapped using a Penning trap or a Paul trap using a combination of electric and magnetic fields, these traps do not work for neutral atoms.

Read more about Magneto-optical TrapDoppler Cooling, Magnetic Trapping, Atomic Structure Necessary For Magneto-optical Trapping, The Limits To The Magneto-optical Trap, Application, See Also

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