Our goal is the preparation and study of ultracold
plasma and Rydberg matter. We assembled an experimental
setup for laser cooling of lithium atoms in a
magneto-optical trap (MOT). Trapping of 7Li atoms in a
MOT is demonstrated for a wide range of cooling laser
detunings. The number density of 7Li atoms at different
ground-state sublevels is measured by using a probe tunable
laser. The temperature of the trapped atoms is estimated.
Obtained information is important for the preparation
of ultra-cold plasma and highly-excited atoms.