Margaret Harris' Photo Page

This page contains some photos showing the Rb-Cs mixture experiment in various phases of its construction. First we travel back through the mists of time to October 2004, when funding for the experiment began.

As you can see, in the beginning, there was a lot of nothing. And it was very yellow.

Initially, we shared lab space with colleagues working on Durham's CO2 lattice experiment while they were building a new apparatus. During this period, we began constructing several essential components of our experiment offline...

...such as the 'baseball' coil (right, photographed during winding)

...the rest of our magnetic trap (below left, shown with the baseball coil at the centre), and the vacuum system (below centre), including the pyramid MOT chamber (below right).

We also ordered more lab consumables than we ever thought possible, and assembled them into diode lasers, photodiodes (we currently use more than 10), panels of BNC sockets for connecting our experiment to the computer which controls it, and laser servo locking circuits - among many other things!

Once our CO2 lattice colleagues had moved to their new lab space in February 2005, we began assembling the optics we need to derive frequencies for cooling and repumping Rb and Cs atoms in a double-MOT system, optically pumping them into their magnetically-trappable states, and imaging them in the magnetic trap. The optical setup required to do all of this is a model of simplicity, and took almost no time to construct - this should be obvious from the schematic diagram and photograph below:

In 2006, having cooled and trapped both Cs and Rb in the pyramid MOT (see our news page for details), we began setting up the optics for the second, or 'science' MOT. By the last quarter of the year, we had successfully trapped both Rb and Cs in the science MOT. The photo below shows the two-species MOT, along with MLH and PT (looking fairly happy!).

If you are interested in joining us to work on the next phase of the experiment, please don't hesitate to contact Simon Cornish for more information.

Content © Margaret L. Harris, Durham University 2007