Observation of bistability in a perturbed magneto-optical trap

D. Wilkowski, J.C. Garreau, D. Hennequin

Eur. Phys. J. D 2 157 (1998)

We report on the experimental observation of bistability in a magneto-optical trap perturbed by a focalized laser beam. This bistability is theoretically interpreted by studing the atomic losses induced by the perturbing beam. Comparison with a Monte Carlo model allows us to deduce the trap capture velocity along the perturbing beam.