Population dynamics in a metastable neon magneto-optical trap
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We observe the population dynamics within a metastable neon magneto-optical trap (MOT) through the measurement of the average squared Clebsch-Gordan coefficient C2 over a range of laser detunings. The magnitude of C2 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 C2 is larger than the average over all possible transitions. For the 3P2-to-3D3 cooling transition in metastable neon the average C2 value is equal to 0.46; however, we have measured 0.29 ᠰ.03 < C2 < 0.73 ᠰ.09. We explain this range of values for C2 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
Physical Review A: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
© 2013 American Physical Society. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Degenerate Quantum Gases and Atom Optics
Atomic and Molecular Physics