Complete population transfer to and from a continuum and the radiative association of cold Na atoms to produce translationally cold Na2 molecules in specific vib-rotational states

A. Vardi, M. Shapiro, K. Bergmann

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Abstract

We demonstrate the feasibility of a laser induced complete population transfer to and from a continuum of states. We study the two-photon dissociation of v = 28, J = 1,...,10 sodium dimers. We demonstrate that using just a pair of "counter intuitively" ordered pulses we can dissociate 100% of the molecules in an ensemble. The scheme is shown to be stable with respect to the initial choice of rotational level and to fluctuations in the laser frequency and intensity. We also study the reverse phenomenon of complete population transfer from the continuum. We perform calculations on the radiative association of Na atoms to form the Na2 molecule in specific vib-rotational states. It is shown that two pulses of 20 nsec duration and as little as 6 MW/cm2 peak power can photoassociate more than 98% of the atoms within a (pulse and velocity determined) relative effective distance, to yield Na2 molecules in the chosen v = 28, J = 10 vib-rotational state. This means that given a density of 1016 atoms/cm3 and a temperature of 7K, a 10Hz pulsed laser source of the above parameters can convert half of all the Na atoms in the ensemble to v = 28, J = 10 Na 2 molecules within 15 seconds of operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-106
Number of pages16
JournalOptics Express
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes

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