Gas of sub-recoiled laser cooled atoms described by infinite ergodic theory

Eli Barkai, Günter Radons, Takuma Akimoto

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The velocity distribution of a classical gas of atoms in thermal equilibrium is the normal Maxwell distribution. It is well known that for sub-recoiled laser cooled atoms, Lévy statistics and deviations from usual ergodic behavior come into play. In a recent letter, we showed how tools from infinite ergodic theory describe the cool gas. Here, using the master equation, we derive the scaling function and the infinite invariant density of a stochastic model for the momentum of laser cooled atoms, recapitulating results obtained by Bertin and Bardou [Am. J. Phys. 76, 630 (2008)] using life-time statistics. We focus on the case where the laser trapping is strong, namely, the rate of escape from the velocity trap is R(v) ∝ |v|α for v → 0 and α > 1. We construct a machinery to investigate time averages of physical observables and their relation to ensemble averages. The time averages are given in terms of functionals of the individual stochastic paths, and here we use a generalization of Lévy walks to investigate the ergodic properties of the system. Exploring the energy of the system, we show that when α = 3, it exhibits a transition between phases where it is either an integrable or a non-integrable observable with respect to the infinite invariant measure. This transition corresponds to very different properties of the mean energy and to a discontinuous behavior of fluctuations. While the integrable phase is described by universal statistics and the Darling-Kac law, the more challenging case is the exploration of statistical properties of non-integrable observables. Since previous experimental work showed that both α = 2 and α = 4 are attainable, we believe that both phases could also be explored experimentally.

Original languageEnglish
Article number044118
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 28 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The support from the Israel Science Foundation under Grant No. 1614/21 is acknowledged (E.B.). This work was supported by the JSPS KAKENHI under Grant No. 240 18K03468 (T.A.). We thank Tony Albers, Nir Davidson, and Lev Khaykovich for helpful suggestions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Author(s).


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