Reflection of cold atoms from an array of current-carrying wires
School of Physics, The University of Melbourne, Parkville 3052, Australia
2 CSIRO Manufacturing Science and Technology, Clayton 3169, Australia
Accepted: 6 October 1998
Published online: 15 February 1999
We report the realization of a new type of magnetostatic mirror for slowly moving atoms which comprises a planar array of parallel wires alternately carrying electric current in opposite directions. One of the features of this atomic mirror is that the magnetic field may be readily varied, switched or modulated by altering the current in the wires. Reflection signals close to 100% at a pulsed current of 3 A are demonstrated for a beam of free-falling laser-cooled cesium atoms at normal incidence. The current dependence of the reflection signals exhibits structure which is associated with the sequential onset of reflection of cesium , F=4 atoms in the m=+4, +3, +2 and +1 magnetic states. Measurements of the spatial distribution of the reflected atoms indicate the reflection is predominantly specular at currents of 3 A.
PACS: 03.75.Be – Atom and neutron optics / 32.80.Pj – Optical cooling of atoms; trapping / 39.10.+j – Atomic and molecular beam sources and techniques
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 1999