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Cooling Hydrogen with Ultrafast Lasers

Mr. Erik W. Streed


Monday 26 September 2005, 4.30PM, Seminar Room AR103, Graduate Research Centre.

Laser cooling and trapping are central to modern atomic physics. The low temperatures and long trapping times now routinely achieved by these means provide a suitable starting point for evaporative cooling to Bose-Einstein condensation, and can be used to initialize small ion-trap quantum computers. However, laser cooling has been demonstrated on less than 20 atomic elements. For other elements, the laser systems required are very difficult to build. D. Kielpinski has proposed a scheme to extend laser cooling to other elements using a different light-atom interaction, namely two-photon absorption of femtosecond laser pulses. The use of femtosecond pulses offers technological advantages for cooling new elements, such as efficient nonlinear frequency conversion and addressing of multiple atomic transitions. An experiment to cool atomic hydrogen by this technique will commence at Griffith in early 2006.

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