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Our magneto-optical trap allows the study of ultracold atoms.

See more photos of the MOT in our Photo Gallery.


The coldest atoms in Kansas can be found in our Magneto-Optical Trap (MOT). Stuck in the "optical molasses" of six intersecting laser beams and the field of a magnet, atoms can be cooled to just a fraction of a degree above absolute zero. This greatly reduces the random thermal motions of the atoms and makes it possible for us to study the details of collisions of ions with these atoms to an unprecedented degree of precision.

The cold, trapped atoms can be probed with either laser light or slow ion beams. These techniques are known as MOTRIMS, or magneto-optical trap recoil-ion momentum spectroscopy.

"Team MOTRIMS" is headed by Professor Brett DePaola.

Recent Publications from the MOT:

Last updated on Thursday, 19-Apr-2012