Cold Atom Sources

Research into modular cold atom sources

There is a currently a rapid drive towards transferring cutting-edge quantum research into real-life applications, and we are developing practical cold atom sources for these devices. Ultracold atoms have a wide range of applications - including improved atomic clocks, gyroscopes, and sensing of gravitational and magnetic fields - because they are extremely sensitive to external fields and forces.

The majority of ultracold atom experiments use a 2-stage arrangement: atoms are first cooled from room temperature to ~1 millikelvin in a vacuum chamber, then are transported to a neighbouring chamber where they are further cooled and probed. We are engineering the first stage of this process to produce more atoms while reducing its size, using our patent-pending pyramidal arrangement of mirrors (see below). This compact and robust cold atom source can then be integrated into a wide range of practical quantum devices, and the increased atom number will enhance signal-to-noise and repetition rate.

Pyramid 7a - A1 Render.jpg

This project is in collaboration with M Squared Lasers.