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Proceedings Paper

Transient optical angular momentum effects and atom trapping in multiple twisted beams
Author(s): D. L. Andrews; A. C. Carter; M. Babiker; M. Al-Amri
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Paper Abstract

Theoretical work has already established the existence of a light-induced torque acting on the centre of mass of an atom, ion or molecule immersed in twisted light, where the transition frequency is suitably detuned from that of the twisted light beam. The twisted beam carries l units of orbital angular momentum per photon, and the steady-state saturation form of the torque is also determined by the width of the upper state in the atomic transition. It has been shown that, to leading order, the transfer of orbital angular momentum can only occur between the twisted light and the centre of mass motion. We argue here that, for small linewidth, the full time-dependence of the torque is needed to account correctly for the dynamics of atoms in a twisted light beam. We outline the theoretical framework needed to derive this full time-dependence, applying the theory to the motion in a twisted light beam of Eu3+ ions, which possess a particularly narrow linewidth state. For relatively large linewidth, the steady-state forces and torque are appropriate, but the processes of cooling and trapping require the application of several suitably oriented twisted beams. The description of atomic motion in multiple twisted beams demands the application of special coordinate transformations. We show how to construct the appropriate transformation matrices to represent a twisted light beam propagating in an arbitrary direction, and we proceed to investigate the cooling and trapping of Mg+ ions in sets of pairs of counter-propagating twisted beams in two-dimensional and three-dimensional molasses configurations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 February 2006
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6131, Nanomanipulation with Light II, 613103 (9 February 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.647412
Show Author Affiliations
D. L. Andrews, Univ. of East Anglia (United Kingdom)
A. C. Carter, The Univ. of York (United Kingdom)
M. Babiker, The Univ. of York (United Kingdom)
M. Al-Amri, King Khalid Univ. (Saudi Arabia)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6131:
Nanomanipulation with Light II
David L. Andrews, Editor(s)

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