Polarization-Dependent Spectra in the Photoassociative Ionisation of Cold Atoms in a Bright Sodium Beam



The study of cold collisions in samples of optically cooled and confined atoms has been an active area of research since Gould et al. observed the first photoassociative ionisation collisions in a dipole trap.1 Magneto-optical traps (MOTs) and far-off-resonance traps (FORTs) have provided “reaction” cells at temperatures well below lmK, and densities equal to or above 1010 cm−3. Under these conditions of temperature and density only a few partial waves contribute to a binary collision event.2 Trap experiments have been used to study in detail various collisional processes including photoassociation (PA) and the two-step photoassociative ionisation(PAI) of cold atoms,
$$ \eqalign{ & Na\left( {^2{S_{1/2}}} \right) + Na\left( {^2{S_{1/2}}} \right) + {\omega _1} \to Na_2^* \cr & Na_2^* + {\omega _2} \to \left[ {Na_2^{**}} \right] \to Na_2^ + + e \cr} $$


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science and EngineeringUniversity of Maryland, College ParkCollege ParkUSA

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