Generation of an intense cold-atom beam from a pyramidal magneto-optical trap: experiment and simulation
An intense cold-atom beam source based on a modified pyramidal magneto-optical trap has been developed and characterized. We have produced a slow beam of cold cesium atoms with a continuous flux of 2.2× 10^9 atoms/s at a mean velocity of 15 m/s and with a divergence of 15 mrad. The corresponding radiant intensity is 1.2×10^13 atom s^−1 sr^−1. We have characterized the performance of our beam source over a range of operating conditions, and the measured values for atom flux, mean velocity, and divergence are in good agreement with results from detailed Monte Carlo numerical simulations.
© 2003 Optical Society of America. Received July 24, 2002; revised manuscript received January 24, 2003. This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and was supported by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Director's Research and Development Fund. J.M. Kohel also thanks the National Research Council for support during this work. Thanks are due to N. Guise, B. Klipstein, D. Seidel, B. Young, and N. Yu for valuable technical support and discussions.