Abstract

We have studied in detail the Zeeman-tuned slowing of a beam of sodium atoms. We present experimental data that examine details of the slowing by studying the atomic beam both as it slows and after the slowing process has been completed. A Monte Carlo computer simulation reproduces many of the details of our experimental data. We also discuss an analytic model based on the idea that the slowing proceeds adiabatically—that is, such that slowing atoms are always nearly resonant with the laser. This model allows us to give simple physical interpretations to many of the features of our data.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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