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Photonics Dictionary

atom optics

The area of optics in which the wave nature of a particle is exploited to carry out very accurate interferometry and other optical techniques with atoms instead of photons. In this process, particles are cooled via laser cooling to a temperature at which the energy is reduced, such that the particle reaches the size of its de Broglie wavelength. At this point one can then observe the wave nature of the particle by observing its fringes, and thus carry out photon-based experiments and calculations with the atoms themselves.
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