Abstract

We have applied the method of single-atom trajectories to study the mechanism behind some cooling schemes in laser cooling. In several cases we recognize the cooling mechanism as being due to a Sisyphus process, in which the atoms move in a spatially varying light-shift potential and are optically pumped toward the most light-shifted states. In other cases we identify a Sisyphus process in time, in which the light shift is constant and the force on the atom alternates between positive and negative. This process is interrupted by quantum jumps at random instants, and in each case we depict the mechanism leading to a cooling force on the atom. In the special case of sub-Doppler laser cooling in a strong magnetic field we obtain 12 jump operators and identify the jump operators responsible for the cooling. The versatility of the single-atom trajectory method permits it to be applied to any cooling process, and therefore it is a valuable tool in unraveling the physical mechanisms behind cooling processes.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article
More Like This
Laser cooling of three-level atoms in two standing waves

D. V. Kosachiov, Yu. V. Rozhdestvensky, and G. Nienhuis
J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 14(3) 535-543 (1997)

Monte Carlo wave-function method in quantum optics

Klaus Mølmer, Yvan Castin, and Jean Dalibard
J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 10(3) 524-538 (1993)

Laser cooling below the Doppler limit by polarization gradients: simple theoretical models

J. Dalibard and C. Cohen-Tannoudji
J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 6(11) 2023-2045 (1989)

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Figures (9)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Figure files are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Equations (68)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Metrics

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article level metrics are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription