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Intensity Dependence of Photoassociation in a Quantum Degenerate Atomic Gas
Prodan, Ionut D.
Hulet, Randall G.
Bohn, John L.
We have measured the intensity dependent rate and frequency shift of a photoassociation transition in a quantum degenerate gas of Li7. The rate increases linearly with photoassociation laser intensity for low intensities, whereas saturation is observed at higher intensities. The measured rates and shifts agree reasonably well with theory within the estimated systematic uncertainties. Several theoretically predicted saturation mechanisms are discussed, but a theory in which saturation arises because of quantum mechanical unitarity agrees well with the data.