We have constructed a novel optical trap for neutral atoms by using a Laguerre-Gaussian (doughnut) beam whose frequency is blue detuned to the atomic transition. Laser-cooled rubidium atoms are trapped in the dark core of the doughnut beam with the help of two additional laser beams which limit the atomic motion along the optical axis. About 108atoms are initially loaded into the trap, and the lifetime is 150 ms. Because the atoms are confined at a point in a weak radiation field in the absence of any external field, ideal circumstances are provided for precision measurements. The trap opens the way to a simple technique for atom manipulation, including Bose-Einstein condensation of gaseous atoms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)