Scientific Results

Laser cooling and trapping of radioactive atoms

Year: 2003

Authors: Atutov S.N., Biancalana V., Burchianti A., Calabrese R., Corradi L., Dainelli A., Guidi V., Mai B., Marinelli C., Mariotti E., Moi L., Scansani E., Stancari G., Tomassetti L., Veronesi S.

Autors Affiliation: Dipto. Fisica dell\’Universit√†, INFN, Sezione di Ferrara, Via Paradiso 12, 44100 Ferrara, Italy; Dipto. Fisica dell\’Universit√†, INFM, Unit√† di Siena, Via Banchi di Sotto 55/57, 53100 Siena, Italy; INFN, Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro, Via Romea 4, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy

Abstract: Laser cooling and trapping techniques made possible during the last two decades important achievements in the atomic physics and quantum mechanics fields. These same techniques can be usefully applied to radioactive atoms by opening new fields of investigations. Nuclear processes can be studied with the atomic physics tools. We focused our attention on Francium radioactive atoms. A magneto-optical trap has been set up at the INFN Legnaro laboratories. Preliminary tests with other stable alkali atoms aimed at an improvement of the MOT collection efficiency are reported. Fast and efficient trap loading of rubidium has been obtained through the light-induced atomic desorption from an organic coating. A larger number of sodium atoms, as compared to monochromatic trapping laser, has been trapped by using a broad-band laser.

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KeyWords: Atomic physics; Cooling; Desorption; Magnetooptical effects; Monochromators; Organic coatings; Quantum theory; Radioactive elements; Spectroscopy, Atomic parity violation; Laser spectroscopy; Magneto-optical traps; Radioactive atoms, Laser applications
DOI: 10.1117/12.518887

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