Cold atomic media with ultrahigh optical depths

Hsiao, Y-F, Chen H-S, Tsai P-J, Chen Y-C.  2014.  Cold atomic media with ultrahigh optical depths. Phys. Rev. A. 90:054401.


We present an experimental study to achieve ultrahigh optical depths for cold atomic media with a two dimensional magneto-optical trap (MOT) of cesium. By combining large atom number, a temporally dark and compressed MOT, and Zeeman-state optical pumping, we achieve an optical depth of up to 1306 for the open transition of the cesium D1 line. Our work demonstrates that it is feasible to push the optical depth up to the 1000 level with a convenient MOT setup. This development paves the way to many important proposals in quantum optics and many-body physics.