Abstract

We demonstrate a novel optical dipole trap that is based on enhancement of the optical power density of a Nd:YAG laser beam in a resonator. The trap is particularly suited for experiments with ultracold gases, as it combines a potential depth of the order of 1  mK with storage times of several tens of seconds. We study the interactions in a gas of fermionic lithium atoms in our trap and observe the influence of spin-changing collisions and off-resonant photon scattering. A key element in reaching long storage times is the use of an ultralow-noise laser. The dependence of storage time on laser noise is investigated.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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