Feedback control of a single atom in an optical cavity
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We discuss feedback control of the motion of a single neutral atom trapped inside a high-finesse optical cavity. Based on the detection of single photons from a probe beam transmitted through the cavity, the position of the atom in the trap is estimated. Following this information, the trapping potential is switched between a high and a low value in order to counteract the atomic motion. This allowed us to increase the storage time by about one order of magnitude. Here, we describe the technical implementation of the feedback loop and give a detailed analysis of its limitations as deduced from Monte-Carlo simulations. We also discuss different strategies to further improve the performance of the feedback.
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