Comparison of time profiles for the magnetic transport of cold atoms
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We have compared different time profiles for the trajectory of the centre of a quadrupole magnetic trap designed for the transport of cold sodium atoms. Our experimental observations show that a smooth profile characterized by an analytical expression involving the error function minimizes the transport duration while limiting atom losses and heating of the trapped gas: moving the gas over nearly 31 cm requires only about 600 ms. Using numerical calculations of single atom classical trajectories within the trap, we show that this observation can be qualitatively interpreted as a trade-off between two types of losses: finite depth of the confinement and Majorana spin flips.
We are grateful to D. Guéry-Odelin for helpful comments on the manuscript. We thank A. Kaladjian for the building of a large part of the mechanical pieces we have used for the fabrication of the coils and their mounts. This work has been supported by the ANR Project No. 11-PDOC-021-01 and the Région Île-de-France in the framework of DIM NanoK (Des atomes froids aux nanosciences) project FluoStrong. LPL is a member of DIM SIRTEQ (Science et Ingénierie en Région Île-de-France pour les Technologies Quantiques).
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