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Published July 2018 | Published
Journal Article Open

Improved microparticle electrodynamic ion traps for physics teaching


We review the essential physics of microparticle electrodynamic ion traps (MEITs) and suggest several improvements in the design, construction, and application of MEITs in undergraduate physics teaching. Pulling together insights gleaned from a number of disparate sources, we have developed MEITs with better overall performance and reliability in comparison to previous publications. This work builds upon a long history of MEIT advancement over many decades, further lowering the barriers to using these fascinating devices in physics teaching labs and demonstrations.

Additional Information

© 2018 American Association of Physics Teachers. Received 17 December 2017; accepted 1 April 2018. A number of Caltech undergraduate students contributed to the initial development of our ion traps, including Christopher Dewan, John Schulman, Giulio Rottaro, Nathaniel Indik, Gautam Upadhya, Scott Yantek, Prastuti Singh, Max Horton, and Kelly Swanson. This work was supported in part by the California Institute of Technology and by generous donations from Drs. Richard Karp and Vineer Bhansali.

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