Abstract

A theoretical investigation into density, pressure, and temperature distributions in magneto-optical traps is presented. After a brief overview of the forces that arise from reradiation and absorption, a condition that the absorptive force be conservative is used to show that, if the temperature is uniform throughout the trap, any density solutions to the force equations will not be physical. Further, consistent density solutions are unlikely to exist at all. In contrast, with a varying temperature reasonable solutions are demonstrated, with some restrictions. Doppler forces involved in ring-shaped trap structures are used to calculate orbit radii in racetrack geometry traps, and corrections to the present discrepancy between theoretical and experimental studies are discussed in the context of reradiation and diffusion.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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