Steady-State Quantum Statistics of a Non-Markovian Atom Laser. II


We present a steady-state analysis of a quantum-mechanical model of an atom laser. A single-mode atomic trap coupled to a continuum of external modes is driven by a saturable pumping mechanism. In the dilute flux regime, where atom-atom interactions are negligible in the output, we find an analytic form for the linewidth and frequency shift of the laser. This result does not make the Born-Markov approximation, but is based on the far less restrictive ‘‘self-consistent Markov approximation.’’ The more exact treatment has a different effective damping rate and occupation of the lasing mode, as well as a shifted frequency and linewidth of the output. We examine gravitational damping numerically, finding linewidths and frequency shifts for a range of pumping rates. We treat mean-field damping analytically, finding a memory function for the Thomas-Fermi regime. The occupation and linewidth are found to have a nonlinear scaling behavior which has implications for the stability of atom lasers.

Physical Review A