Laser spectroscopy of the 4s4p(3) P-2-4s3d(1) D-2 transition on magnetically trapped calcium atoms

U. Dammalapati, I. Norris, C. Burrows, E. Riis

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Laser excitation of the 4s4p 3P2 – 4s3d 1D2 transition in atomic calcium has been observed and the wavelength determined to 1530.5298(6) nm. The metastable 4s4p 3P2 atoms were magnetically trapped in the quadrupole magnetic field of a magneto-optical trap. This state represents the only “loss” channel for the calcium atoms when laser cooled on the 4s2 1S0 – 4s4p 1P1 transition. A rate equation model shows that an order of magnitude more atoms are trapped in this state compared with those taking part in the main cooling cycle. Excitation of the 3P2 atoms back up to the 4s3d 1D2 state provides a means of accessing these atoms. Efficient repumping is achieved if the 1530-nm laser is used in conjunction with a 672-nm laser driving the 4s3d 1D2 – 4s5p 1P1 transition. In the present experiment, we detected about 4.5×104 trapped 3P2 atoms, a relatively low atom density, and measured a lifetime of approximately 1 s, which is limited by background collisions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number062513
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • laser spectroscopy
  • magnetic fields
  • calcium atoms

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