This paper presents new experimental realizations of sub‐recoil laser cooling by velocity selective coherent population trapping (VSCPT). Starting from a cloud of trapped and precooled metastable helium atoms, it has been possible to achieve a VSCPT interaction time of 500 μs. This has enabled the momentum distribution to be compressed along one or two orthogonal axes to better than δp = ħk/4 where ħk is the photon momentum. The corresponding temperature is at least 16 times smaller than the single photon recoil limit, and the de Broglie wavelength of the atoms is at least 4 times larger than the wavelength of the laser used to cool the atoms. Recent theoretical developments are also described, establishing a connection between subrecoil cooling and Lévy flights and allowing one to get analytical expressions for the proportion of cooled atoms in the long time limit. Finally, the possibility of increasing the efficiency of VSCPT by Sisyphus precooling is briefly mentioned.

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