- Broida 3302
Direct frequency comb laser cooling and trapping
Andrew Jayich, UCLA Physics and Astronomy
Cold gas-phase atomic samples are excellent platforms for precision measurement, quantum simulation and quantum chemistry. The starting point for generating cold atoms is laser cooling. However, several atoms of significant interest, including carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen, have been nearly impossible to laser cool with standard techniques because of their vacuum ultraviolet transitions. To address this problem we demonstrate a new frequency comb-based laser cooling method where we drive a two-photon transition, which will avoid the problems associated with the vacuum ultraviolet. In a proof of principle experiment we apply this technique to cool rubidium to 57 microKelvin. We further extend this technique by driving the same two-photon transition in a magnetic field gradient to form a magneto-optical trap, which allows for sample accumulation and increased interaction times. Importantly our technique can be extended to two-photon cooling of C, N, O, H, and anti-H, allowing future studies of ultracold chemistry, precision tests of QED, and measurements of antimatter.