Gravito-optical trapping of three-level atoms
Physical Review A. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
We investigate an atomic three-level Λ-system which is exposed to two counterpropagating laser fields (inducing Raman transitions) and which is closed by a magnetic hyperfine field tuned to be in resonance with the transition between the two ground states. The influence of a homogeneous gravitational field is included in a full quantum treatment of the internal and external dynamics of the atom. It is shown that the combined influence of the gravitational field and the lasers lead for specific
... omentum values with a very high probability to a transition of the Landau-Zener type. This is accompanied by a momentum transfer resulting in an upward kick. For appropriate initial conditions a sequence of up and down motions is obtained. No mirror is needed. A gravito-optical trapping of atoms based on this effect seems to be realizable.