Sunday, May 19, 2013

1305.3802 (R. Bourgain et al.)

Evaporative cooling of a small number of atoms in a single-beam
microscopic dipole trap

R. Bourgain, J. Pellegrino, A. Fuhrmanek, Y. R. P. Sortais, A. Browaeys
We demonstrate experimentally the evaporative cooling of a few hundred rubidium 87 atoms in a single-beam microscopic dipole trap. Starting from 800 atoms at a temperature of 125microKelvins, we produce an unpolarized sample of 40 atoms at 110nK, within 3s. The phase-space density at the end of the evaporation reaches unity, close to quantum degeneracy. The gain in phase-space density after evaporation is 10^3. We find that the scaling laws used for much larger numbers of atoms are still valid despite the small number of atoms involved in the evaporative cooling process. We also compare our results to a simple kinetic model describing the evaporation process and find good agreement with the data.
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