Dynamics of noise-induced heating in atom traps

M. E. Gehm, K. M. O’Hara, T. A. Savard, J. E. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


A Fokker-Planck equation is derived for the energy distribution of atoms in a three-dimensional harmonic trap with fluctuations in the spring constant and the equilibrium position. Using this model, we predict trap lifetimes based on the measurable noise spectra of the fluctuations. The energy distributions evolve into a single eigenmode where the apparent temperature of the distribution remains constant while the population decays as a consequence of the energy input. The method of analysis and the corresponding results are applicable to any optical, magnetic, or ion trap that is approximately harmonic, and offer useful insights into both noise-induced and optical heating processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3914-3921
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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