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Phys Rev Lett. 2003 Aug 22;91(8):080402. Epub 2003 Aug 19.

Intensity dependence of photoassociation in a quantum degenerate atomic gas.

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  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy and Rice Quantum Institute, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77251, USA.


We have measured the intensity dependent rate and frequency shift of a photoassociation transition in a quantum degenerate gas of 7Li. The rate increases linearly with photoassociation laser intensity for low intensities, whereas saturation is observed at higher intensities. The measured rates and shifts agree reasonably well with theory within the estimated systematic uncertainties. Several theoretically predicted saturation mechanisms are discussed, but a theory in which saturation arises because of quantum mechanical unitarity agrees well with the data.

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