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Resonance-radiation pressure on atoms in symmetrical light fields

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Abstract

The radiation force acting on a two-level atom in an axisymmetric field of two counterpropagating light beams and a centrosymmetric field of six light beams propagating in the directions ±x, ±y, and ±z has been considered. It is shown that, for radiative cooling of atoms by the light pressure force, the gradient force creates a potential well, the depth of which does not exceed the energy linewidth of resonant atomic transition. It is concluded that stable confinement of cold atoms in symmetrical light fields is impossible.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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