Deterministic delivery of a single atom


We report the realization of a deterministic source of single atoms. A standing-wave dipole trap is Loaded with one or any desired number of cold cesium atoms from a magneto-optical trap. By controlling the motion of the standing wave, we adiabatically transport the atom with submicrometer precision over macroscopic distances on the order of a centimeter. The displaced atom is observed directly in the dipole trap by fluorescence detection. The trapping field can also be accelerated to eject a single atom into free flight with well-defined velocities.