Document Type



This paper will be a combination of my theoretical and experimental work toward Bridgewater State Universities first Magneto-Optical Trap (MOT) for laser cooling and trapping of neutral atoms in order to study fundamental quantum mechanical behavior of Rubidium (Rb) atoms. The goal of the theoretical aspect is to complete details of well-established works on how the complicated quantum, atomic, and electromagnetic (laser) interactions required to understand the design and operation of the MOT reduce to the physics and mathematics of a damped oscillator. This is made explicitly clear using familiar damped oscillator systems, such as a spring/mass/damping or pendulum/mass/damping (ie swing set!), where intuitive understanding and experience will help future BSU researchers understand the sophisticated physics and operation of the MOT. The goal of the experimental aspects is toward the implimentation of a new experimental designs for BSU’s MOT. The MOT chamber, vacuum system, Rb atom source, and magnetic confine system is provided by a recently purchased ColdQuanta miniMOT through the MassTech LEAP grant. I added my own streamlined, more compact, and efficient optical system that is significantly based on the ColdQuanta’s design. Last, due to increased fiber-optics capabilities at BSU and as part of the new engineering program, I began modification of the free-space laser system to a one that is deliver by fiber optics. MOTs have significant use throughout academia and industry, and cold atoms have exciting new applications including as the fundamental qubits for next generation quantum computers owing to the exciting potential of Prof. Deveney’s BSU MOT program.



Thesis Comittee

Dr. Edward F. Deveney, Thesis Advisor

Dr. Elif Demirbas, Committee Member

Dr. Samuel F. Serna O., Committee Member

Copyright and Permissions

Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.