We have theoretically investigated three-dimensional focusing of a launched cloud of cold atoms using a pair of magnetic lens pulses (the alternate-gradient method). Individual lenses focus radially and defocus axially or vice versa. The performance of the two possible pulse sequences are compared and found to be ideal for loading both 'pancake' and 'sausage' shaped magnetic/optical microtraps. It is shown that focusing aberrations are considerably smaller for double-impulse magnetic lenses compared to singleimpulse magnetic lenses. An analysis of clouds focused by the double-impulse technique is presented.
- cold atoms
- magnetic fields