Synchronization of Bloch oscillations by a ring cavity

M. Samoylova, N. Piovella, G. R. M. Robb, R. Bachelard, Ph. W. Courteille

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We consider Bloch oscillations of ultracold atoms stored in a one-dimensional vertical optical lattice and simultaneously interacting with a unidirectionally pumped optical ring cavity whose vertical arm is collinear with the optical lattice. We find that the feedback provided by the cavity field on the atomic motion synchronizes Bloch oscillations via a mode-locking mechanism, steering the atoms to the lowest Bloch band. It also stabilizes Bloch oscillations against noise, and even suppresses dephasing due to atom-atom interactions. Furthermore, it generates periodic bursts of light emitted into the counter-propagating cavity mode, providing a non-destructive monitor of the atomic dynamics. All these features may be crucial for future improvements of the design of atomic gravimeters based on recording Bloch oscillations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14823-14835
Number of pages13
JournalOptics Express
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2015


  • crystal lattices
  • locks (fasteners)
  • optical lattices
  • optical materials
  • atom-atom interaction
  • atomic dynamics
  • Bloch oscillations
  • counterpropagating
  • future improvements
  • optical ring cavity
  • periodic bursts
  • vertical optical lattices

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