Magneto-optical trapping of neutral mercury
TU Darmstadt, Inst. for Applied Physics, Schlossgartenstr. 7,
Received in final form: 17 March 2011
Published online: 17 May 2011
We report on the cooling of neutral mercury in a magneto-optical trap utilizing the spin forbidden 1S0 → 3P1 transition at 253.7 nm. We trapped two Hg isotopes, i.e. the bosonic 202Hg and the fermionic 199Hg isotope, respectively. The temperature of the cold atom cloud was determined to be approximately 300 μK using a modified TOF-method. It is currently limited by the quality of the laser lock. Trapped neutral Hg has many interesting avenues such as a time standard and high precision measurements. Here, we discuss the possibilities of photo-association spectroscopy and the generation of ultra-cold Hg2 dimers.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag 2011