We show that polarization-gradient cooling occurs in the system, simultaneously with velocity-selective coherent population trapping (VSCPT). Starting with a Doppler temperature sample, this process precools atoms and contains them, to within twice the recoil velocity, a range efficiently capturable by VSCPT. For sodium, this cooling may enhance the rate of three-dimensional VSCPT by 200 times over the rate achievable from Doppler precooling alone. We estimate that in 8 msec, for example, the atoms would be cooled in three dimensions to one-fourth the recoil temperature.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics