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Type: Journal article
Title: Population dynamics in a metastable neon magneto-optical trap
Author: Glover, R.D.
Calvert, J.E.
Sang, R.T.
Citation: Physical Review A, 2013; 87(2):023415-023415
Publisher: American Physical Society
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 2469-9926
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R. D. Glover, J. E. Calvert and R. T. Sang
Abstract: We observe the population dynamics within a metastable neon magneto-optical trap (MOT) through the measurement of the average squared Clebsch-Gordan coefficient C 2 over a range of laser detunings. The magnitude of C 2 is dependent on the internal quantum state of an atom interacting with the light field and is found to show a strong dependence on the applied laser detuning. Previously it has been reported [Townsend et al., Phys. Rev. A 52, 1423 (1995)] that trapped atoms in a MOT are pumped towards the states that interact most strongly with the local field and therefore the measured value of C 2 is larger than the average over all possible transitions. For the 3 P 2 -to- 3 D 3 cooling transition in metastable neon the average C 2 value is equal to 0.46; however, we have measured 0.29 ± 0.03 < C 2 < 0.73 ± 0.09 . We explain this range of values for C 2 by considering the possible transition rates between the different magnetic sublevels in the system. This result has significant consequences when trap populations are measured via fluorescence in a MOT.
Rights: © 2013 American Physical Society
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.87.023415
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