A novel atom trap is described using alternating current to generate the magnetic B field, together with high speed polarization switching of the damping laser field. This combination produces a trap as effective as a standard magneto-optical trap (MOT), with the advantage that the average B field is zero. No net current is hence induced in surrounding conductive elements, and the B field produced by the ac MOT is found to switch off >300 times faster than a conventional MOT. New experiments can hence be performed, including charged particle probing or detection of the cold target ensemble. © 2008 The American Physical Society.
- NEUTRAL ATOMS