Stopping supersonic beams with a series of pulsed electromagnetic coils: an atomic coilgun

Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Mar 7;100(9):093003. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.100.093003. Epub 2008 Mar 6.


We report the stopping of an atomic beam, using a series of pulsed electromagnetic coils. We use a supersonic beam of metastable neon created in a gas discharge as a monochromatic source of paramagnetic atoms. A series of coils is fired in a timed sequence to bring the atoms to near rest, where they are detected on a microchannel plate. Applications to fundamental problems in physics and chemistry are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.