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Electrodynamic Ion Traps
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Electrodynamic Ion Traps

Price: Item discontinued, no longer for sale ....

This experiment examines the trapping of charged particles using oscillating electric fields, a technique that earned Wolfgang Paul and Hans Dehmelt the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1989. Although ion trapping is still at the cutting edge of modern science, the basic principles can be understood with little more than a good background in mechanics (with calculus) and beginning electromagnetism.

The EIT experiment includes three different ion traps, allowing a range of observations and measurements. Students load ions into the traps, observe their behavior over a range of conditions, make and observe Coulomb crystals, measure the charges and masses of individual trapped particles, measure picoNewton trapping forces, and more!


Written Documentation - Electrodynamic Ion Traps

Click on the links below to download .pdf files describing the hardware, the experiments, and the physics of ion trapping.

1. Instrument description
        A brief look at the hardware and features of the different ion traps

2. Guide to experiments
        An overview of experiments that can be done with this instrument

3. Physics of electrodynamic ion traps - A qualitative description
        A mathematics-free (almost) description of ion trapping

Sample student handout

Physics of electrodynamic ion traps - Advanced

6. Why our high-voltage ion traps are safe

Video Documentation - Electrodynamic Ion Traps

Click on the links below to YouTube videos of ion traps and trapping experiments.

The Ring Trap

The Linear Trap

The Single Particle Trap

Photo Gallery - Electrodynamic Ion Traps

Click on the images to view high-resolution versions with captions.