Date of Award

Spring 2008

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2008 Eric Duchon. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Physics & Astronomy Department

First Advisor

Frank Moscatelli


The physics and some practical considerations behind a magneto-optical trap (MOT) are detailed. The possibility of replacing the anti-Helmholtz coils in a MOT with two ring-shaped permanent magnets is explored. Instead of being limited to point nulls or traps, this research demonstrates such a substitution can lead to a macroscopic, toroidally shaped magnetic field null appropriate for a MOT. Using numerical simulations, we found that additional electromagnetic coils can vertically translate and expand the ring null as well as break it into several point nulls. Techniques such as these that allow for easy in situ alterations of two dimensional MOTs have several possible applications in cold atom research.