Perpendicular laser cooling of a rotating ion plasma in a Penning trap

Wayne M. Itano, L. R. Brewer, Daniel John Larson, D. J. Wineland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The steady-state temperature of an ion plasma in a Penning trap, cooled by a laser beam perpendicular to the trap axis, has been calculated and measured. The rotation of the plasma, due to crossed E and B fields, strongly affects the minimum attainable temperature. This is because the velocity distribution of the ions, as seen by a laser beam intersecting the plasma at some distance from the axis of rotation, is skewed, and this leads to a change in the velocity distribution (and hence temperature) at which a steady state is attained. The calculated temperature is a function of the intensity, frequency, and position of the laser beam, and of the rotation frequency of the plasma. Temperatures of Be+9 plasmas were measured for a wide range of experimental parameters. The lowest and highest temperatures were approximately 40 mK and 2 K. The measured and calculated temperatures are in agreement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5698-5706
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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