We have experimentally observed re-equilibration of a magnetically trapped cloud of metastable neon atoms after it was put in a non-equilibrium state. Using numerical simulations we show that anharmonic mixing, equilibration due to the collisionless dynamics of atoms in a magnetic trap, is the dominant process in this equilibration. We determine the dependence of its time on trap parameters and atom temperature. Furthermore we observe in the simulations a resonant energy exchange between the radial and axial trap dimensions at a ratio of trap frequencies \omega_r / \omega_z = 3/2. This resonance is explained by a simple oscillator model.
|Title of host publication||Los Alamos National Laboratory|
|Place of Publication||Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|