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  • Vol. 15, Iss. 24 — Dec. 15, 1990
  • pp: 1479–1481

Decreased damping of ultracold atoms in optical molasses: predictions and a possible solution

N. P. Bigelow and M. Prentiss  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Letters, Vol. 15, Issue 24, pp. 1479-1481 (1990)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.15.001479


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Abstract

We derive expressions for the damping rate for a two-level atom trapped in the antinodes of an optical interference pattern. We find that the decay rate is much slower than the rate for untrapped atoms in optical molasses. Although the velocity of untrapped atoms decays exponentially in time, the velocity of trapped atoms decays only as t−1/2. We show that the slow damping rate can be circumvented by the addition of a traveling-wave component to the molasses standing wave and discuss how these results can be extended to multilevel atoms.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

History
Original Manuscript: August 10, 1990
Manuscript Accepted: October 9, 1990
Published: December 15, 1990

Citation
N. P. Bigelow and M. Prentiss, "Decreased damping of ultracold atoms in optical molasses: predictions and a possible solution," Opt. Lett. 15, 1479-1481 (1990)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ol/abstract.cfm?URI=ol-15-24-1479


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References

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  14. For a system with several ground- and excited-state levels, processes that transfer kinetic energy to the light field by means of a change of internal state can further enhance the low-velocity damping behavior, ultimately leading to a lower average ratio 〈EK/U〉.5–8 We note, however, that such mechanisms can become less important once 〈EK/U〉 < 1 and the atom is trapped.12
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