Laser cooling of molecules via single spontaneous emission
Fachbereich Physik der Universität Konstanz, Fach M674, 78457 Konstanz,
Revised: 28 September 2002
Published online: 12 November 2002
A general scheme for reducing the center-of-mass entropy is proposed. It is based on the repetition of a cycle, composed of three concepts: velocity selection, deceleration and irreversible accumulation. Well-known laser techniques are used to represent these concepts: Raman -pulse for velocity selection, STIRAP for deceleration, and a single spontaneous emission for irreversible accumulation. No closed pumping cycle nor repeated spontaneous emissions are required, so the scheme is applicable to cool a molecular gas. The quantum dynamics are analytically modelled using the density matrix. It is shown that during the coherent processes the gas is translationally cooled. The internal states serve as an entropy sink, in addition to spontaneous emission. This scheme provides new possibilities to translationally laser-cool molecules for high precision molecular spectroscopy and interferometry.
PACS: 32.80.Pj – Optical cooling of atoms; trapping / 33.80.Ps – Optical cooling of molecules; trapping / 42.50.Vk – Mechanical effects of light on atoms, molecules, electrons, and ions
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2003