Optical molasses and multilevel atoms: Experiment

David S. Weiss, Erling Riis, Yaakov Shevy, P. Jeffrey Ungar, Steven Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

178 Scopus citations


The cooling mechanisms for laser cooling of atoms in optical molasses have been investigated experimentally. A significant simplification over the usual three-dimensional geometry has been obtained by studying the optical molasses in one or two dimensions only. By proper choice of polarizations the behavior of a pure two-level system as well as the more complicated effects of polarization gradients on laser cooling of a multilevel atom were observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2072-2083
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America B: Optical Physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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