The Λ system resulting from the interaction of counterpropagating orthogonally polarized beams of light with a Jg=1-->Je=1 transition is known to exhibit laser cooling without the presence of a damping force, through velocity selective coherent population trapping. This occurs independent of the sign of the laser's detuning from the atomic resonance frequency. We present measurements and calculations that show a detuning-dependent transient peak or dip in the ground-state momentum distribution centered at pg=0, however, which is reminiscent of laser cooling by a damping force. We explain this in terms of the character of the quantum-mechanical eigenstates of the total ground-state Hamiltonian of the system, using both analytic expressions and numerical calculations.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Physical Review A : Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Sep 1995|
- Optical cooling of atoms
- Mechanical effects of light on atoms molecules electrons and ions