Henry M. Gunn High School

Atom Cooling: An Experiment Plan

Experimental Description/Abstract:


By conducting the inaugural Project QUERB experiment, we seek to advance quantum physics research through the means of manipulating multiple particles — by changing the state of a single particle — instantaneously. The practical justification through our findings with this experiment may further develop quantum technologies and real-life applications of quantum inventions which may eventually be powerfully applied to everyday use.



MOT Equipment


The atomic refrigerator which cools the atoms to an extremely low temperature in the micro kelvins. At these low temperatures we can then begin to entangle the atoms.

miniMOT (Vacuum System, Dispenser, Ion Pump, Dispenser Current Supply)

Description The miniMOT is a magneto-optical trap system which traps and cools atoms to a level at which we can manipulate them for our experiment.
Purpose We can load rubidium-87 atoms into the MOT to be cooled for experimental use. Once this is complete, we can begin to entangle the cooled atoms by shooting a laser pulse through the MOT system.
Cost $9,900
Quantity 1

miniMOT Kit (All Optics, Optomechanics, Needed for MOT, Inc. Bullet Cam)

Description This miniMOT kit contains a 15” x 18” aluminum breadboard with a periscope/beamsplitting/polarization assembly (beam height 3.5” and telescope magnification 16X[75mm/4.51mm @780]), mirrors for trap alignment, and a B&W CCD camera for MOT imaging. With this kit, an experienced physicist/student/researcher can build a rubidium MOT.
Purpose This kit enables access and read-out of the MOT system.
Cost $8,900
Quantity 1

MOT Coils

Description These circular coils create a magnetic field.
Purpose Maintains proper magnetic field for atom alignment.
Cost $1,100
Quantity 1

MOT Coil Power Supply

Description Low noise power supply for the MOT coils.
Cost $500
Quantity 1

780nm Laser for 87Rb Master, Cooling and Probe, and Repump

Description A 780-nm wavelength laser with an initial linewidth of approximately 1.01 MHz.
Purpose The 780-nm wavelength laser holds rubidium-87 atoms in a confined volume.
Cost per Unit $12,500
Total Cost $37,500
Quantity 3

Master, Cooling, and Repump Laser Electronics (Isolator, Heterodyne Module and Servo, Isolator)

Description Controls cooling and repump lasers so as to hold the atoms in the desired energy state.
Purpose This is used to program/control the cooling and repump laser for optimal trapping/cooling of the rubidium-87 atoms.
Cost of Master Electronics $8,000
Cost of Cooling and Repump Electronics $10,000
Total Cost $18,000
Quantity 3

Optics/Optomechanics for Laser Locking/Combining

Description Mirrors and mirror mounts which combine (separate) different laser sources into a single (multiple) optical path(s) for locking and beam guiding.
Purpose "Locked" lasers synchronize the optical pulses needed to trap rubidium-87 in a MOT.
Cost $3,600
Quantity 1

Dipole Trap Equipment


The dipole trap is used to trap atoms in a specific energy level. This allows us to experiment with the atoms.

852nm Laser

Description The (approximately) 852mn laser shoots a wave with a 852nm wavelength.
Purpose To trap rubidium electrons at a specific energy level.
Cost $12,500
Quantity 1

852nm Laser

Description This laser diode controller has a precise, high stability output at multiple ranges.
Purpose To tune our laser with specific output currents.
Cost $7,000
Quantity 1

Optomechanics for Beam Steering

Description Includes a set of mirrors, mounts, and filters to steer the laser beam toward the atomic ensemble.
Purpose This accurately and precisely aligns the laser in the direction associated with optimal trapping/cooling of the rubidium-87 atomic ensemble.
Cost $2,000
Quantity 1

Power Stability Feedback Loop

Description A set of equipment pieces used to measure the consistency of power input of different photonics hardware including amplifiers and optical power meters (OPMs).
Purpose This detects irregularities in the power input to equipment which is crucial for maintaining no variability in our measurements and results.
Cost $7,000
Quantity 1

Cavity Equipment


The optical cavity is where the photons interact with the atomic ensemble. It consists of two mirrors which reflect the photon into the atoms multiple times to ensure sufficient interaction. After the photon exits the cavity, it is hopefully entangled with many of the atoms inside.

Optical Cavity Mirror

Description A mirror designed to reflect light at a specific wavelength back and forth in a cavity.
Purpose To ensure sufficient interaction of the photon with the atomic system in the cavity.
Cost per Unit $153
Total Cost $306
Quantity 2

Cavity Mechanics

Description These kinematic optical mounts are designed to hold optics in a wide range of configurations, suited for many needs.
Purpose To stabilize the cavity mirrors and the cavity itself.
Cost $1,000
Quantity 1

Additional Equipment


These pieces of equipment are those that do not fall under the category of the MOT, dipole, or cavity.

Polarizing Beam Splitter (PBS)

Description Splits light into vertically and horizontally polarized beams.
Purpose With this distinction in light, we can determine the amount of atoms entangled by the photon.
Cost per Unit $515
Total Cost $1,030
Quantity 2

Polarizing Beam Splitter Mounting

Description Mounts the polarizing beam splitter for stability.
Purpose This results in low noise on the resulting beam for optimal experimental results.
Cost $35
Quantity 1

Single Photon Detector

Description Detects individual photons from an original laser source.
Purpose Two photon detectors will be used to detect both vertical and horizontally polarized light which has already interacted with the cavity.
Cost per Unit $4,091
Total Cost $8,182
Quantity 2

Polarizer Mount

Description Mounts the polarizer.
Cost $85
Quantity 1


Description A linear polarizer which allows us to polarize a photon vertically or horizontally.
Purpose The heralding light, or the light which becomes entangled with the atomic ensemble, is vertically polarized before entering the cavity with this piece of equipment.
Cost $1,030
Quantity 1

Quarter Wave Plate

Description Converts linearly polarized light to circularly polarized left or circularly polarized right light.
Purpose Light will be circularly polarized to trap/cool the atoms. This wave plate allows us to appropriately change the polarization of the photon suited for trapping and cooling the atomic ensemble.
Cost $300
Quantity 1

Control Computer

Description A computing system used to record and analyze data.
Cost $2,000
Quantity 1

Control Hardware

Description This hardware, consisting of cords and outlet splitters, connects equipment to power sources, PCs, chargers, and other devices.
Purpose Connects the equipment to the control computer for feedback on stable equipment processes and the data collected.
Cost $8,000
Quantity 1

CCD Camera

Description A camera that represents colors/pixels by doping a semiconductor (metal oxide).
Purpose Will be used for taking pictures of the MOT during and after our experiment.
Cost $1,000
Quantity 1

Optical Power Meter

Description Optical Power Meters(OPMs) are used to measure the power in an optical signal in an optical fiber and free space.
Purpose This is used for feedback on the power being used by certain optics equipment such as the photon detectors and laser sources.
Cost per Unit $1,555
Total Cost $3,110
Quantity 2

Optical Table/Isostation

Description A workstation designed to isolate vibrations and provide an extremely stable location to perform our experiment.
Purpose Working with photonics requires extreme position in targeting, and any slight vibrations will throw our precise laser out of alignment. This Isostation will dampen or remove most vibrations, allowing us to perform our experiment with sufficient stability.
Cost $6,446
Quantity 1