Approximate master equations for atom optics.
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In the field of atom optics, the basis of many experiments is a two-level atom coupled to a light field. The evolution of this system is governed by a master equation. The irreversible components of this master equation describe the spontaneous emission of photons from the atom. For many applications, it is necessary to minimize the effect of this irreversible evolution. This can be achieved by having a far detuned light field. The drawback of this regime is that making the detuning very large makes the time step required to solve the master equation very small, much smaller than the time scale of any significant evolution. This makes the problem very numerically intensive. For this reason, approximations are used to simulate the master equation, which are more numerically tractable to solve. This paper analyzes four approximations: The standard adiabatic approximation, a more sophisticated adiabatic approximation (not used before), a secular approximation, and a fully quantum dressed-state approximation. The advantages and disadvantages of each are investigated with respect to accuracy, complexity, and the resources required to simulate. In a parameter regime of particular experimental interest, only the sophisticated adiabatic and dressed-state approximations agree well with the exact evolution.
Physical Review A (Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics)
Copyright 2003 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.