Nope. It is still way too hot, and the laser light couldn't get the atoms any
Why is that?
Because, as you saw, each photon gives a certain kick to an atom, so when the
atoms are moving as slowly as possible, they are still always getting jostled
around by the amount of a single photon kick, and this motion is what limited
the temperature. Cornell and Wieman had to figure out how to get much colder
than that temperature.
And so they used the "evaporative cooling" you mentioned?
Yes, but first they had to find a new kind of thermos bottle that would keep
the atoms from hitting the hot walls, but did not use photons. For this they
used a magnetic trap.
Wait a minute. You just said that they used a magnetic field for the laser
trap. Isn't this the same thing?
No, then they were holding the atoms just by using a small magnetic field to
control the laser push. Here they are using a very strong magnetic field that
pulls directly on the atoms because there is a tiny bar magnet attached to
each atom. If you make the right kind of magnetic field, it will pull on
those little bar magnets to keep the atoms in the center of the cell without
any light around.
I have seen tops that will spin for a very long time because they have magnets
in them. Is that anything like this?
It is exactly like this. Those tops are held by magnetic fields in just the
same way as the cold atoms are held. Such a magnetic trap makes the world's
best thermos bottle!