Abstract

We present a simple, reliable, and nondestructive method for the measurement of vacuum pressure in a magneto-optical trap. The vacuum pressure is verified to be proportional to the collision rate constant between cold atoms and the background gas with a coefficient k, which can be calculated by means of the simple ideal gas law. The rate constant for loss due to collisions with all background gases can be derived from the total collision loss rate by a series of loading curves of cold atoms under different trapping laser intensities. The presented method is also applicable for other cold atomic systems and meets the miniaturization requirement of commercial applications.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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