Reflection of thermal atoms by a pulsed standing wave
Department of Engineering Physics and Mathematics,
Helsinki University of Technology, 02015 HUT, Finland
Revised: 25 April 2000
Published online: 15 December 2000
Reflection of thermal atoms by a pulsed standing wave with a duration in the nanosecond range is studied. The momentum distribution of the reflected atoms is determined by calculations based on the adiabatic atom-photon interactions. It is shown that with a proper choice of the field intensity and the pulse duration the standing-wave pattern functions as a row of independent atom mirrors. At an optimum choice of the parameter values, the fraction of the elastically reflected atoms is more than 20% . Furthermore, we show that the pulsed standing-wave mirror can be used to manipulate their final momentum distribution. When using laser pulses with an intensity of several tens of MW/cm2, tens of thousands of atoms can be reflected by a single laser pulse.
PACS: 32.80.Lg – Mechanical effects of light on atoms, molecules, and ions
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2000