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Optical ferris wheel for ultracold atoms

Franke-Arnold, S. and Leach, J. and Padgett, M.J. and Lembessis, D. and Ellinas, D. and Wright, A.J. and Girkin, J.M. and Ohberg, P. and Arnold, A.S. (2007) Optical ferris wheel for ultracold atoms. Optics Express, 15 (14). pp. 8619-8625. ISSN 1094-4087

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Abstract

We propose a versatile optical ring lattice suitable for trapping cold and quantum degenerate atomic samples. We demonstrate the realisation of intensity patterns from pairs of Laguerre-Gauss (exp(i-ө) modes with different - indices. These patterns can be rotated by introducing a frequency shift between the modes. We can generate bright ring lattices for trapping atoms in red-detuned light, and dark ring lattices suitable for trapping atoms with minimal heating in the optical vortices of blue-detuned light. The lattice sites can be joined to form a uniform ring trap, making it ideal for studying persistent currents and the Mott insulator transition in a ring geometry.