Physical Review A
Alkaline-earth-metal atoms present an ideal platform for exploring magneto-optic trap (MOT) dynamics, enabling unique and definitive tests of laser cooling and trapping mechanisms. We have measured the trapping beam intensity, detuning, magnetic-field gradient, trap density, and lifetime dependence of the spring constant κ and damping coefficient α for a 1S0−1P1 88Sr MOT by fitting the oscillatory response of the atom cloud to a step-function force. We find that the observed behavior of κ and α provide a unified and consistent picture of trap dynamics that agrees with Doppler cooling theory at the level of 10%.Additionally, we demonstrate that the trapped atom temperature can be determined directly from measured value of κ and the trap size, in excellent agreement with free-expansion temperature measurements. However, the experimentally determined temperature is much higher than Doppler cooling theory, implying significant additional heating mechanisms.
Xu, Xinye; Loftus, Thomas H.; Smith, Matthew J.; Hall, John L.; Gallagher, Alan; and Ye, Jun, "Dynamics in a Two-Level Atom Magneto-Optical Trap" (2002). Physics Faculty Contributions. 68.