The experiment is carried out in a glass cell with very low pressure. In here is an ultra-thin glass fiber and a gas of cesium atoms. Using lasers and a magnetic field, the atoms are cooled down to almost absolute zero (minus 273 degrees Celsius) and the atoms gather as a cloud around the glass fiber. Then two laser beams with very different frequencies are transmitted into the fiber, thereby capturing atoms above the fiber surface. By measuring the difference in the speed of light for two other light beams on each side of the atoms' absorption line, you can measure the number of atoms.