Mechanical bistability of atoms cooled in an optical lattice
Laboratoire Kastler-Brossel Département de Physique de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure
24 rue Lhomond, 75231, Paris Cedex 05, France
Accepted: 27 June 2000
The dynamics of an atom localized in a periodic potential and submitted to a probe wave is studied theoretically and experimentally in a cesium optical lattice. Because the optical potential is not harmonic, two solutions for the amplitude of motion in steady state are found in a certain range of parameters. The free oscillation following the forced excitation exhibits two peaks associated with these two amplitudes. The relative weight of the peaks depends on the probe frequency and on the lattice temperature.
PACS: 32.80.Lg – Mechanical effects of light on atoms, molecules, and ions / 42.50.Md – Optical transient phenomena: quantum beats, photon echo, free-induction decay, dephasings and revivals, optical nutation, and self-induced transparency / 42.65.Pc – Optical bistability, multistability, and switching
© EDP Sciences, 2000