Manipulation of Atoms By Optical Field

When cold atoms or a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) (a state of matter in which separate atoms or subatomic particles, cooled to near absolute zero (0 K, − 273.15 °C, or − 459.67 °F; K = kelvin), coalesce into a single quantum mechanical entity—that is, one that can be described by a wave function—on a near-macroscopic scale.) of an atomic gas is placed in a light standing wave produced by two counter-propagating lasers of certain frequency, the atoms are diffracted in different order. A cold atom absorbs a photon from one of the laser beams and emits in the other beam receiving a net momentum of in the direction of the photon. Here is the magnitude of the wave vector of the laser. This is called two-photon recoil process. In such situation, a BEC cloud sitting at the center of a trap is split into two identical clouds. The clouds then travel in opposite directions with a velocity, in the direction of the photon.

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