Atomic density and temperature distributions in magneto-optical traps

A S Arnold, P J Manson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
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A theoretical investigation into density, pressure, and temperature distributions in magneto-optical traps is presented. After a brief overview of the forces that arise from reradiation and absorption, a condition that the absorptive force be conservative is used to show that, if the temperature is uniform throughout the trap, any. density solutions to the force equations will not be physical. Further, consistent density solutions are unlikely to exist at all. In contrast, with a varying temperature reasonable solutions are demonstrated, with some restrictions. Doppler forces involved in ring-shaped trap structures are used to calculate orbit radii in racetrack geometry traps, and corrections to the present discrepancy between theoretical and experimental studies are discussed in the context of reradiation and diffusion. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-506
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America B
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000


  • doppler limit
  • spatial distribution
  • radiation pressure
  • neutral atoms
  • sodium atoms
  • cold atoms
  • vapor-cell
  • molasses


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