Investigation of sub-Doppler cooling in an ytterbium magneto-optical trap

R. Maruyama, R. H. Wynar, M. V. Romalis, A. Andalkar, M. D. Swallows, C. E. Pearson, E. N. Fortson

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1 Scopus citations


We report experimental evidence of Sisyphus cooling in atoms with a [Formula Presented] ground state. Since [Formula Presented] any cooling mechanism which requires multiple sublevels can only occur in the isotopes which have nuclear spin [Formula Presented] Ytterbium has seven stable isotopes and offers a unique system in which we can study cooling on [Formula Presented] [Formula Presented] [Formula Presented] [Formula Presented] and [Formula Presented] [Formula Presented] depending on the selection of isotope. We have trapped each of the seven stable isotopes of ytterbium in a magneto-optical trap (MOT) using the strong [Formula Presented] transition, and transferred them into a second MOT which uses the much narrower [Formula Presented] intercombination transition. We have measured the temperature of isotopes [Formula Presented] [Formula Presented] and [Formula Presented] in the [Formula Presented] MOT, as a function of the intensity and detuning of the trapping laser. The temperature of [Formula Presented] was found to increase more rapidly with intensity than predicted by Doppler cooling theory, in agreement with earlier work on alkaline-earth atoms. In the odd isotopes the temperature was found to decrease with increasing angular momentum, as observed in earlier experiments and three-dimensional simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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