Theory of an optical dipole trap for cold atoms

Garraway, B M and Minogin, V G (2000) Theory of an optical dipole trap for cold atoms. Physical Review A, 62 (4). 043406-043401. ISSN 1050-2947

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The theory of an atom dipole trap composed of a focused, far red-detuned, trapping laser beam, and a pair of red-detuned, counterpropagating, cooling beams is developed for the simplest realistic multilevel dipole interaction scheme based on a model of a (3+5)-level atom. The description of atomic motion in the trap is based on the quantum kinetic equations for the atomic density matrix and the reduced quasiclassical kinetic equation for atomic distribution function. It is shown that when the detuning of the trapping field is much larger than the detuning of the cooling field, and with low saturation, the one-photon absorption (emission) processes responsible for the trapping potential can be well separated from the two-photon processes responsible for sub-Doppler cooling atoms in the trap. Two conditions are derived that are necessary and sufficient for stable atomic trapping. The conditions show that stable atomic trapping in the optical dipole trap can be achieved when the trapping field has no effect on the two-photon cooling process and when the cooling field does not change the structure of the trapping potential but changes only the numerical value of the trapping potential well. It is concluded that the separation of the trapping and cooling processes in a pure optical dipole trap allows one to cool trapped atoms down to a minimum temperature close to the recoil temperature, keeping simultaneously a deep potential well.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: Barry Garraway
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:15
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 13:30

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