We report the viscous confinement and cooling of neutral sodium atoms in three dimensions via the radiation pressure of counterpropagating laser beams. These atoms have a density of about ∼ and a temperature of ∼240 μK corresponding to a rms velocity of ∼60 cm/sec. This temperature is approximately the quantum limit for this atomic transition. The decay time for half the atoms to escape a ∼0.2 confinement volume is ∼0.1 sec.
- Received 25 April 1985
- Published in the issue dated 1 July 1985
© 1985 The American Physical Society