Modelling the diffraction of laser-cooled atoms from magnetic gratings
CSIRO, Manufacturing Science & Technology, Private Bag 33, Clayton South, Victoria 3169, Australia
Corresponding author: a email@example.com
Revised: 15 December 2000
Published online: 15 April 2001
The diffraction of laser-cooled atoms from a spatially-periodic potential is modelled using rigorous coupled-wave analysis. This numerical technique, normally applied to light-diffraction, is adapted for use with atomic de Broglie waves incident on a reflecting diffraction grating. The technique approximates the potential by a large number of constant layers and successively solves the complex eigenvalue problem in each layer, propagating the solution up to the surface of the grating. The method enables the diffraction efficiencies to be calculated for any periodic potential. The results from the numerical model are compared with the thin phase-grating approximation formulae for evanescent light-wave diffraction gratings and idealised magnetic diffraction gratings. The model is applied to the problem of diffracting Rb atoms from a grating made from an array of permanent magnets.
PACS: 03.75.Be – Atom and neutron optics / 42.25.Fx – Diffraction and scattering
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2001