Abstract

Cooling that results from optical dipole forces is considered for a bound atom. Through optical pumping, the atom can be made to feel decelerating optical dipole forces more strongly than accelerating optical dipole forces. This effect, which has previously been realized for free atoms, is called Sisyphus cooling. A simple model for a bound atom is examined in order to reveal the basic aspects of cooling and heating when the atom is confined in the Lamb–Dicke regime. Results of semiclassical and quantum treatments show that the minimum energy achieved is near the zero-point energy and can be much lower than the Doppler cooling limit. Two practical examples that approximate the model are briefly examined.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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