A Distributed GUI-based Computer Control System for Atomic Physics Experiments
Author(s)Keshet, Aviv; Ketterle, Wolfgang
A distributed, graphical user interface based, computer control system for atomic physics experiments
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Atomic physics experiments often require a complex sequence of precisely timed computer controlled events. This paper describes a distributed graphical user interface-based control system designed with such experiments in mind, which makes use of off-the-shelf output hardware from National Instruments. The software makes use of a client-server separation between a user interface for sequence design and a set of output hardware servers. Output hardware servers are designed to use standard National Instruments output cards, but the client-server nature should allow this to be extended to other output hardware. Output sequences running on multiple servers and output cards can be synchronized using a shared clock. By using a field programmable gate array-generated variable frequency clock, redundant buffers can be dramatically shortened, and a time resolution of 100 ns achieved over effectively arbitrary sequence lengths.
DepartmentHarvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Research Laboratory of Electronics
Review of Scientific Instruments
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Keshet, Aviv, and Wolfgang Ketterle. “A Distributed, Graphical User Interface Based, Computer Control System for Atomic Physics Experiments.” Review of Scientific Instruments 84, no. 1 (2013): 015105.