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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Flux and profile measurements of an atomic beam using laser cooled atoms Prescott, Thomas


The population dynamics of a Magneto-Optical Trap (MOT) make it a potential candidate for flux measurements of an atomic beam. This is achieved by determining the collisional cross section of the trapped atom and the beam particle which would result in ejection of a trapped atom. Due to the properties of a MOT it is possible to make spatial and time-of-flight profiles of the beam using this technique. The work of this thesis explores the collisional cross sections and flux profiles of several gaseous beams with a MOT of ⁸⁵Rb or ⁸⁷Rb. Each of the beams, generated through supersonic expansion, produced a loss cross section on the order of the combined van-der-Waals radii of the two particles. The flux and time-of-flight information of the beam was verified with a Residual Gas Analyser (RGA) and high beam rep rate pressure measurements. The MOT was characterized through a combination of fluorescence detection for population and a catalysis process for the trap's depth. A custom built translation mechanism for the MOT's optics and Helmholtz coils was constructed to perform the profiling measurements.

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