Devices for the construction of a cold atom experiment.
Dlamini, Sanele Goodenough.
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The experimental setup for laser cooling and trapping of 87Rb atoms with the aid of a Magneto-optical trap (MOT) is discussed. The experiment has a diverse setup, which includes: a vacuum system in which the cooling and trapping takes place; a laser system, which provides a velocity depen- dent force; a magnetic field,which creates a position dependent force for the atoms; and an imaging system which can be used to determine many of the properties of the atomic cloud. A polarisation detector is also designed and constructed, which is used to determine the degree of circular polarisation of beams in the experiment. Using this polarisation device, the beam can be circularly polarised to a high degree with an purity of the polarisation of 0.03. A pair of Anti-Helmholtz coils is designed and constructed, these two coils produce a magnetic field that is zero at the centre and changes linearly along along all three axes. The magnetic field gradient was measured along the symmetry axis of the coils. The final magnetic field coil measured a magnetic field gradient of 16.21 G/cm, 9.98 G/cm and 6.91 G/cm, when the separation is equal to 0.026 m, 0.655 m and 0.08 m, respectively. An overview of these systems is presented as well as their performance.