Trapping of a supersonic beam in a traveling magnetic wave
Laboratoire Aimé Cotton, CNRS, Bât. 505, Université Paris-Sud, 91405
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Received in final form: 19 April 2011
Published online: 17 June 2011
Here we report on a new approach to the magnetic deceleration of supersonic beams, based on the generation of a propagating wave of magnetic field. Atoms and molecules possessing a magnetic dipole moment, in so-called low field seeking quantum states, are trapped around a node of the propagating wave. The wave travels at a desired velocity in the direction of the supersonic beam, which can be chosen to match a velocity class populated in the beam. An additional quadrupole guide provides transverse confinement, independently of the decelerator itself. Our technique has been conceived to generate a smooth motion of the magnetic wave, which should optimize the efficiency of the trapping during a future Zeeman deceleration of the beam. We demonstrate the trapping of metastable argon atoms in a magnetic wave traveling at selected, constant velocities.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag 2011