Schlieren imaging of nano-scale atom-surface inelastic transition using a Fresnel biprism atom interferometer
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Surface-induced exo-energetic inelastic transitions among atomic Zeeman states in a magnetic field (“van der Waals – Zeeman” transitions) are useable as tuneable beam splitters. A transversally coherent atom beam impinging a pair of opposite surfaces (e.g. 2 edges of a slit or of an ensemble of periodic slits) gives rise to two coherently diffracted wave packets. Within the wave packet overlap, non-localised interference fringes of the Young-slit type are predicted. From the diffraction pattern observed in the Fraunhofer regime (Schlieren image), detailed information about the transition amplitude on a scale of a few nanometers should be derived.
PACS.03.75.Be Atom and neutron optics 37.25.+k Atom interferometry techniques 34.-35.+a Interactions and atom-molecule potentials and forces
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