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Using lasers to decrease speed of sodium atoms

  1. Apr 7, 2014 #1

    Recently I have began to read up on my passion in physics in my spare time.
    I have encountered an experiment where lasers are used to decrease the speed of sodium atoms. The lasers are a wavelength that the sodium atoms absorb and then proceed to emit a photon.

    If the atoms are traveling at a speed of 1km/s and the laser decelerates the speed of the atoms by
    106m/s2 how long will it take for them to completely come to a stop?

    It is a simple question that I simply cannot get the right answer out of. I get the answer 1m but later in the text it mentions the stopping distance to approx. 0.5m!

    What am I missing?


    Edit: Just realised what I did wrong! Don't know how to delete posts!
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  2. jcsd
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