Réflexion et diffraction d'atomes lents par un miroir à onde évanescente

Carsten Henkel 1
1 laboratoire Charles Fabry de l'Institut d'Optique / Optique atomique
LCFIO - Laboratoire Charles Fabry de l'Institut d'Optique
Abstract : An evanescent light wave may realize an atomic mirror provided the atoms are incident with a sufficiently small kinetic energy. In the low-saturation regime, the atoms are coherently reflected by a repulsive potential barrier, (\em viz.\ )the dipole potential. We characterize the reflection quantum-mechanically, using an exact solution of the (\sc Schrödinger) equation. The theory of atomic diffraction by a stationary evanescent wave is developed. Introducing the thin phase grating approximation which is valid in the semiclassical regime, we show that normally incident atoms are efficiently diffracted even for a weakly modulated light intensity. At grazing incidence, atomic diffraction may be interpreted in terms of (\sc Raman) transitions between magnetic sublevels with different light shifts. The atomic reflection is diffuse rather than specular if the dielectric above which the evanescent wave propagates has a surface roughness larger than the atomic wavelength. The momentum distribution of the scattered atoms gives access to the roughness power spectrum at a length scale around the optical wavelength.
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Carsten Henkel. Réflexion et diffraction d'atomes lents par un miroir à onde évanescente. Physique Atomique [physics.atom-ph]. Université Paris Sud - Paris XI, 1996. Français. ⟨tel-00006757⟩

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