Quantum versus classical dynamics in the optical centrifuge. (arXiv:1707.02896v4 [quant-ph] UPDATED)

The interplay between classical and quantum mechanical evolution in the
optical centrifuge (OC) is discussed. The analysis is based on the quantum
mechanical formalism starting from either the ground state or a thermal
ensemble. Two resonant mechanisms are identified, i.e. the classical
autoresonance and the quantum mechanical ladder-climbing, yielding different
dynamics and rotational excitation efficiencies. The rotating wave
approximation is used to analyze the two resonant regimes in the associated
dimensionless two-parameter space and calculate the OC excitation efficiency.
The results show good agreement between numerical simulations and theory and
are relevant to existing experimental setups.

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