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Stability of Magneto-optical Traps with Large Field Gradients: Limits on the Tight Confinement of Single Atoms

Willems, P. A. and Boyd, R. A. and Bliss, J. L. and Libbrecht, K. G. (1997) Stability of Magneto-optical Traps with Large Field Gradients: Limits on the Tight Confinement of Single Atoms. Physical Review Letters, 78 (9). pp. 1660-1663. ISSN 0031-9007. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:WILprl97

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Abstract

We report measurements of the stability of magneto-optical traps (MOTs) for neutral atoms in the limit of tight confinement of a single atom. For quadrupole magnetic field gradients at the trap center greater than ∼1 kG/cm, we find that stochastic diffusion of atoms out of the trapping volume becomes the dominant particle loss mechanism, ultimately limiting the MOT size to greater than ∼5 μm. We measured and modeled the diffusive loss rate as a function of laser power, detuning, and field gradient for trapped cesium atoms. In addition, for as few as two atoms, the collisional loss rates become very high for tightly confined traps, allowing the direct observation of isolated two-body atomic collisions in a MOT.


Item Type:Article
Additional Information:©1997 The American Physical Society Received 5 August 1996 This research was supported in part by funding from Millard and Muriel Jacobs, and the California Institute of Technology.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:WILprl97
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:WILprl97
Alternative URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.78.1660
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:6703
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:18 Dec 2006
Last Modified:18 Sep 2014 18:11

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