Welcome to the BCIT Atom Trap

Optical Technology at BCIT

Optical technology is one of the driving forces behind technological innovation today. Examples are all around us from high efficiency LED lighting, to fiber optic communications, to revolutionary diagnostic techniques such as optical computed tomography and data visualization. To maintain our currency as a polytechnic institution and meet the demands of the ever-evolving workplace, BCIT actively embraces innovation and technology within its educational and research programs. This goal, coupled with my background in optical physics and laser-matter interactions, lead to my current work - creating a magneto-optical trap (or MOT for short) at BCIT.

A brief history

The construction of a magneto-optical atom trap for rubidium began in 2002 following the blueprint provided by C. Wieman, et al in the American Journal of Physics [1, 2]. With the help and collaboration of many people we have succeeded in building the necessary laser systems, vacuum chamber, and control electronics to create a MOT -- which became fully operational on May 4, 2004.

This on-going work has been supported by the BCIT School of Computing and Academic Studies, the BCIT Technology Center, and the BCIT Physics Department.


Our lab has recently been relocated from our corner of the Physics Department to a more suitable basement location: room SW3 B730. (At present we are re-installing the lab equipment in the space.)



[1] K. B. MacAdam, A. Steinbach, and C. Wieman, Am. J. Phys. 60 (12), 1098-1111.

[2] C. Wieman, G. Flowers, and S. Gilbert, Am. J. Phys. 63 (4), 317-330.

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