Phase-space description of the magneto-optical trap

R. Romain, D. Hennequin, P. Verkerk

Eur. Phys. J. D 61 171-180 (2011)

An exhaustive kinetic model for the atoms in a 1D magneto-optical trap is derived, without any approximations. It is shown that the atomic density is described by a Vlasov-Fokker-Planck equation, coupled with two simple differential equations describing the trap beam propagation. The analogy of such a system with plasmas is discussed. This set of equations is then simplified through some approximations, and it is shown that corrective terms have to be added to the models usually used in this context.