Light Fields Act as Atom Optics
Atom optics are essential to realize the potential of coherent matter waves in applications such as atom holography and interferometry. Researchers at Ludwig Maximilians Universitat in Munich and Max Planck Institut fur Quantenoptik in Garching, Germany, have constructed mirrors and lenses for atom lasers using Raman laser fields.
The technique, which the researchers described in the July 16 issue of Physical Review Letters, created spin flips in a matter wave from a Bose-Einstein condensate of 87Rb using two extended-cavity diode lasers. The researchers built a resonator cavity with a peak reflectivity of more than 98 percent and also focused the atom laser beam inside from 70 µm down to 7 µm after a propagation period of 18 ms.
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