Strontium atoms trapped in a crystal of light

Xin, Jack, Haoran, and Brett have successfully trapped strontium atoms in an optical lattice for the first time! (The first time in our lab, this is already a very well established technique in experimental atomic physics.) The strontium atoms are held in a standing wave of light formed by two counter-propagating laser beams, which forms a simple one-dimensional crystal of light. Below is a picture taken with a CCD camera of the shadow cast by these atoms on a laser beam.

This is a major milestone on the way to building a working optical lattice atomic clock.