Abstract

We produced a slow atomic beam of rubidium with a low-velocity intense source (LVIS) and loaded a magneto-optical trap (MOT) in a connected chamber with the beam. The hole for the atomic beam allowed us to keep the MOT chamber at a much lower pressure than that of the LVIS. The LVIS produced an atomic beam with a continuous flux of (4.3±0.4)×109/s and an average velocity of only 11±3 m/s. The MOT captured the atoms with 67±15% efficiency, which was limited by the atomic-beam divergence. The MOT held 6×109 atoms with a typical trap-confinement time of 8 s.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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