Optical Shielding of Cold Inelastic Collisions
Collisions with cooled and trapped atoms have been the subject of intensive investigation over the past years. Unprecedented detail of the intermediate steps in the collision has been revealed. A remarkable feature in the ultracold system is the ability to control entrance-channel scattering flux and thereby control the exit channel of the collisional encounter. Here we present the continuation of our recent work2 where photo-associative ionizations (PAI) of sodium atoms was suppressed by applying an optical field. The new experiments show that suppression of almost 100% is possible if high intensity is used. Remarkably, an increase of the number of trapped atoms (and density) follows the PAI suppression. This means that not only PAI, but others inelastic process which take to losses in the trap are also suppressed.
KeywordsExit Channel Sodium Atom Inelastic Process Trap Atom Transfer Coherence