Cold atoms probe the magnetic field near a wire

M. P.A. Jones, C. J. Vale, D. Sahagun, B. V. Hall, C. C. Eberlein, B. E. Sauer, K. Furusawa, D. Richardson, E. A. Hinds

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


A microscopic Ioffe-Pritchard trap is formed using a straight, current-carrying wire, together with suitable auxiliary magnetic fields. By measuring the distribution of cold rubidium atoms held in this trap, we detect a weak magnetic field component ΔBz parallel to the wire. This is produced by the current in the wire and is approximately periodic along the wire with period λ = 230 μm. We have measured this field at distances in the range y = 250-350 μm from the centre of the wire. Over this range we find that the decrease of the field is well described by the Bessel function K1(2πy/λ), as one would expect for the far field of a transversely oscillating current within the wire.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L15-L20
JournalJournal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jan 28
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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