Department or Program

Physics and Astronomy


Over the past 30 years Bose-Einstein Condensates (BEC) have become core experimental phenomena for atomic physics research, and in more recent years the invention of the microfabricated `atom chips’ has led to more robust and compact ultracold-atom traps. Most notably the Cold Atom Lab (CAL) on the International Space Station (ISS) is based on these atom chips. The Lundblad Lab at Bates College in partnership with NASA and JPL has been in the process of building a similar atom trap to serve as a testbed for experiments on the ISS. Over the past several years significant progress has been made towards the realization of a BEC using an atom chip. This thesis is a continuation of this work. It explores the theoretical and experimental progress made in transitioning a laser-cooled cloud of rubidium from a magneto-optical trap to a pure magnetic trap. It also begins to explore the process of transitioning from the magnetic trap to the atom chip and the cooling processes that will result in the realization of a BEC.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Lundblad, Nathan

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Open Access

Available to all.