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Collisional blockade in microscopic optical dipole traps

Abstract : We analyze the operating regimes of a very small optical dipole trap, loaded from a magneto-optical trap, as a function of the atom loading rate, i.e., the number of atoms per second entering the dipole trap. We show that, when the dipole trap volume is small enough, a "collisional blockade" mechanism locks the average number of trapped atoms on the value 0.5 over a large range of loading rates. We also discuss the "weak loading" and "strong loading" regimes outside the blockade range, and we demonstrate experimentally the existence of these three regimes.
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Nicolas Schlosser, Georges Reymond, Philippe Grangier. Collisional blockade in microscopic optical dipole traps. Physical Review Letters, American Physical Society, 2002, 89 (2), pp.023005. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevLett.89.023005⟩. ⟨hal-00554211⟩

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