Loading dynamics of CO2 laser traps

K. M. O'Hara, S. R. Granade, M. E. Gehm, J. E. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We present a simple Fokker-Planck model for the evolution of the number of atoms and the spatial distribution in a CO2 laser trap which is loaded from a magneto-optical trap (MOT). Deep CO2 laser traps can achieve very high densities, but reach equilibrium slowly compared to shallow traps. Equilibrium times range from milliseconds for shallow traps to seconds in traps which are deep compared to the thermal energy. A universal function for the maximum number of trapped atoms is given, assuming that the optical dipole trap reaches thermal equilibrium with the MOT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number043403
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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