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Light Force in Ultracold Photoassociation



Eduardo Gomez, A T. Black, Lincoln Turner, Eite Tiesinga, Paul D. Lett


We study the time-resolved photoassociation of ultracold sodium in an optical dipole trap. The photoassociation laser excites pairs of atoms to molecular states of large total angular momentum at high intensities (above 20 kW/cm2). Such transitions are generally suppressed at ultracold temperatures by the centrifugal barriers for high partial waves. Time-resolved ionization measurements reveal that the atoms are accelerated by the dipole potential of the photoassociation beam. We change the collision energy by varying the potential depth, and observe a strong variation of the photoassociation rate. These results demonstrate the important role of light forces in cw photoassociation at high intensities.
Physical Review A (Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics)


light forces, molecular spectra, photoassociation


Gomez, E. , Black, A. , Turner, L. , Tiesinga, E. and Lett, P. (2007), Light Force in Ultracold Photoassociation, Physical Review A (Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics) (Accessed April 22, 2024)
Created January 26, 2007, Updated February 17, 2017