Observation of quantized motion of Rb atoms in an optical field

P. S. Jessen, C. Gerz, P. D. Lett, W. D. Phillips, S. L. Rolston, R. J.C. Spreeuw, C. I. Westbrook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

287 Scopus citations


We observe transitions of laser-cooled Rb between vibrational levels in subwavelength-sized optical potential wells, using high-resolution spectroscopy of resonance fluorescence. We measure the spacing of the levels and the population distribution, and find the atoms to be localized to 1/15 of the optical wavelength. We find up to 60% of the population of trapped atoms in the vibrational ground state. The dependence of the spectrum on the parameters of the optical field provides detailed information about the dynamics of laser-cooled atoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-52
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Jessen, P. S., Gerz, C., Lett, P. D., Phillips, W. D., Rolston, S. L., Spreeuw, R. J. C., & Westbrook, C. I. (1992). Observation of quantized motion of Rb atoms in an optical field. Physical review letters, 69(1), 49-52. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.69.49