We derive and apply an optical Bloch equation (OBE) model for describing collisions of ground and excited laser cooled alkali atoms in the presence of near-resonant light. Typically these collisions lead to loss of atoms from traps. We compare the results obtained with a quantum mechanical complex potential treatment, semiclassical Landau-Zener models with decay, and a quantum time-dependent Monte Carlo wave packet (MCWP) calculation. We formulate the OBE method in both adiabatic and diabatic representations. We calculate the laser intensity dependence of collision probabilities and find that the adiabatic OBE results agree quantitatively with those of the MCWP calculation, and qualitatively with the semiclassical Landau-Zener model with delayed decay, but that the complex potential method or the traditional Landau-Zener model fail in the saturation limit.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics|
|State||Published - 1998|