Evolution of atomic motion in an intense standing wave
Hulet, Randall G.
We have investigated the effect of the dipole force and its fluctuation on the motion of Li atoms in an intense, one-dimensional, near-resonant standing light wave. The duration of the interaction of the atoms with the standing wave was varied from several tens of spontaneous-emission lifetimes to several hundreds. For a standing-wave frequency blue detuned from resonance, diffusive heating can dominate the time-averaged dissipative dipole force so that there is no steady-state momentum distribution. However, for sufficiently large blue detunings, the rate of diffusion is so slow that the resulting distribution approaches a quasisteady state. For red detunings, the diffusion is balanced with the force and a true steady state is achieved. We apply a Monte Carlo method based on the density-matrix equations in the dressed-state representation to simulate the atomic motion. The dynamics of atom channeling is discussed.