Quantitative simulation of a magneto-optical trap operating near the photon recoil limit

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2017-06-21 - 2017-11-22

Ryan K. Hanley, Paul Huillery, Niamh C. Keegan, Alistair D. Bounds, Danielle Boddy, Riccardo Faoro & Matthew P. A. Jones





We present a quantitative model for magneto-optical traps operating on narrow transitions, where the transition linewidth and the recoil shift are comparable. We combine a quantum treatment of the light scattering process with a Monte-Carlo simulation of the atomic motion. By comparing our model to an experiment operating on the 5s2 1S0 → 5s5p 3P1 transition in strontium, we show that it quantitatively reproduces the cloud size, position, temperature and dynamics over a wide range of operating conditions, without any adjustable parameters. We also present an extension of the model that quantitatively reproduces the transfer of atoms into a far off-resonance dipole trap, highlighting its use as a tool for optimizing complex cold atom experiments.