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Transport of launched cold atoms with a laser guide and pulsed magnetic fields

Pritchard, Matthew J. and Arnold, Aidan S. and Cornish, Simon L. and Hallwood, David W. and Pleasant, Chris V.S. and Hughes, Ifan G. (2006) Transport of launched cold atoms with a laser guide and pulsed magnetic fields. New Journal of Physics, 8 (Decemb). pp. 1-21. ISSN 1367-2630

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We propose the novel combination of a laser guide and magnetic lens to transport a cold atomic cloud. We have modelled the loading and guiding of a launched cloud of cold atoms with the optical dipole force. We discuss the optimum strategy for loading typically 30% of the atoms from a magneto-optical trap (MOT) and guiding them vertically through 22 cm. However, although the atoms are tightly confined transversely, thermal expansion in the propagation direction still results in a density loss of two orders of magnitude. By combining the laser guide with a single impulse from a magnetic lens we show one can actually increase the density of the guided atoms by a factor of 10.