Portable MOT and Educational Developments

In collaboration with our colleagues at University of Strathclyde, we have constructed a portable exhibit which allows the public to view atoms which are laser cooled to one millionth of a degree above absolute zero.

Using the principles of laser cooling, and a novel design which allows us to use only a single laser beam, our Magneto-Optical Trap is available for events such as Science Festivals, and debuted at the International Year of Light Scottish Launch event at the Royal Society of Edinburgh in February 2015.

Further information on the departmental webpages at University of St Andrews and University of Strathclyde.


We are also developing new experiments to be used in undergraduate training.  Currently under development is an experiment for the Honours Teaching Lab which will allow the students to measure the hyperfine structure of 7Li using a Saturated Absorption Spectroscopy.  This lab will also provide a tutorial into the processes of optical pumping.

Current Team: P Ireland, P Jonas, D Fraser, G D Bruce and D Cassettari
Collaborators: P Griffin (Strathclyde)