We describe calculations that predict and analyze distinctive features in the velocity distribution in 1D laser cooling for light shift potential well depths only a few times the recoil energy. These features can be interpreted in terms of populations of energy bands or even Bloch states in the periodic potential. They occur with a σ+ standing wave, with and without a small B field, and for lin⊥lin laser cooling. We have observed these features experimentally in a beam of metastable helium atoms cooled on the 23S1⇆23P2 transition, with velocity resolution ~0.3 recoil.
- Optical cooling of atoms
- Mechanical effects of light on atoms molecules electrons and ions