Cold and trapped atoms and ions have individually enabled a wide range of experiments over the past few decades. This is because they can be prepared in precise internal and motional states and the manipulation of these systems allows the realization and study of a number of Hamiltonian and other exotic systems. Combined trapping of these two systems opens up a range of fresh possibilities. The primary opportunity enabled by mixed systems of trapped ions and neutral gases is in the study of long range interactions of the form 1/rn, where n ranges from 1 to 6. In our lab at RRI, we have developed experiments which can simultaneously trap ions, atoms and molecules and study the interaction of the various components with each other. Light plays a crucial role in the production, cooling, trapping and the manipulation of the mixtures and also has unintended consequences that impact the study of these mixtures. The role of cavities in such experiments will be discussed and several results of the experiments will be presented.