A compact system for ultracold atoms
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This thesis describes the design, construction and optimisation of two compact setups to produce ⁸⁷Rb Bose-Einstein condensates and dual ⁷Li-⁸⁷Rb Magneto-Optical Traps (MOTs). The motivation for compact systems is to have simplified systems to cool the atoms. The first experimental setup is based on a single pyrex glass cell without the need for atom chips. Fast evaporation will be achieved in a hybrid trap comprising of a magnetic quadrupole trap and an optical dipole trap created by a Nd:YVO4 laser and with future plans of using a Spatial Light Modulator (SLM). To enhance an efficient and rapid evaporation, we have investigated Light-Induced Atomic Desorption (LIAD) to modulate the Rb partial pressure during the cooling and trapping stage. With this technique, a ⁸⁷Rb MOT of 7 x 10⁷ atoms was loaded by shining violet light from a LED source into the glass cell, whose walls are coated with rubidium atoms. The atoms were then cooled by optical molasses and then loaded into a magnetic trap where lifetime measurements demonstrated that LIAD improves on magnetically-trapped atoms loaded from constant background pressure by a factor of six. This is quite encouraging and opens the possibility to do a rapid evaporation. In a second experiment, we have designed a compact system based on a stainless steel chamber to trap either ⁷Li or ⁶Li atoms in a MOT loaded from alkali-metal dispensers without the need of conventional oven-Zeeman slower. This setup can also load ⁸⁷Rb atoms, allowing future projects to simultaneously produce degenerate quantum gases of bosonic ⁸⁷Rb and fermionic ⁶Li atoms.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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