Abstract

The concept of critical ambient pressure is introduced in this paper. The particle escapes from its trap when the ambient pressure becomes comparable with or smaller than a critical value, even if the particle motion is cooled by one of the feedback cooling (or cavity cooling) schemes realized so far. The critical ambient pressure may be so small that it is not a limiting factor in ground-state cooling, but critical feedback cooling rates, which are also introduced in this paper, are limiting factors. The particle escapes from its trap if any of the feedback cooling rates (corresponding to the components of the particle motion) becomes comparable with or larger than its critical value. The critical feedback cooling rate is different from the well-known manifestation of the measurement noise. The critical feedback cooling rate corresponding to a certain component of the particle motion is usually smaller than the optimum feedback cooling rate at which the standard quantum limit happens, unless that component is cooled by the Coulomb force (instead of the optical gradient force). In addition, given that the measurement noise for the $z$ component of the particle motion is smaller than the measurement noises for the other two components (assuming that the beam illuminating the particle for photodetection propagates parallel to the $z$ axis), the feedback scheme in which the $z$ component of the particle motion is cooled by the Coulomb force has the best performance. This conclusion is in agreement with the experimental results published after writing the first version of this paper. The dependence of the critical ambient pressure, the critical feedback cooling rates, and the minimum achievable mean phonon numbers on the parameters of the system is derived in this paper, and can be verified experimentally. The insights into and the subtle points about the electromagnetic (EM) force (including the gradient force, radiation pressure, and recoil force), the EM force fluctuations, and the measurement noise presented in this paper are all of theoretical and practical importance, and might be useful in many systems besides those examined in this paper.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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