Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Physics (PHYS)

First Advisor

Dr. David Berube

Second Advisor

Dr. Jeff Phillips

Third Advisor

Anatol Hoemke


The utilization of the Magneto-Optical Trap (MOT) as a method for cooling and confining atoms is a recent development in the field of modern optical physics. Producing an effective MOT relies on a constant magnetic field throughout the trapping region and successful laser cooling, a technique used to achieve optical molasses by slowing particles using a three-dimensional intersection of laser beams. A successful MOT occurs when the trapped atoms slow down to approximately 30 cm/s at a temperature in the microkelvin range and is observable when a small bright orb of atoms is located in the center of the chamber. In this endeavor, the experimental setup for achieving a stable MOT was established using an array of infrared lasers provided by MogLabs. Future work on this project should seek to capture an image of trapped rubidium atoms using the ColdQuanta MiniMOT using the kit’s black and white CCD camera. Successfully establishing this MOT allows for further testing to optimize its effectiveness and can be applied in future experiments aimed at achieving Bose-Einstein Condensation.