Atoms Laser-Cooled Below the Doppler-Cooling Limit
We have previously reported  laser cooling of atoms in optical molasses to temperatures as low as 40 μK; more recently, we have measured the temperature of this three-dimensional gas of Na atoms to be as low as -10 +20 μK. These low temperatures are in strong disagreement with the traditional theory of laser cooling, which predicted a lower limit of 240 μK. Temperatures below the “cooling limit” were surprising and unexpected. They pointed out the inadequacy of the usual theory for explaining a rather simple experiment. The results have great practical interest because it now appears to be relatively easy to obtain temperatures much lower than previously thought possible.
KeywordsLaser Cool Laser Polarization Raman Resonance Great Practical Interest Flux Gate Magnetometer
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