Quantum Optics pp 231-246 | Cite as

Atom Optics

  • Miguel Orszag
Part of the Advanced Texts in Physics book series (ADTP)

Abstract

Atom optics [17.1], in analogy with electron or neutron optics, deals with manipulation of matter waves. As such, they are characterized by a wavelength, which is the de Broglie wavelength λdBh/p and the momentum p = mv. The momentum of a typical atom is larger than that of a typical photon, absorbed or emitted by that atom. There are several advantages of using atoms instead of photons for optical experiments:
  • Atoms have a non-zero rest mass, which is interesting when, for example, we want to detect gravitational waves.

  • Atoms, as opposed to neutrons or electrons, are less susceptible to stray fields, but cannot be manipulated as easily as charged particles.

  • Atoms have variable velocities, and as a result, one can in principle, control their de Broglie wavelengths.

  • Atoms are easy and cheap to produce, as compared, for instance, to neutrons.

  • A very important aspect of the atom optics, is that atoms have internal structure, whcih can be probed and modified using light.

Keywords

Chromium Auger 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel Orszag
    • 1
  1. 1.Facultad de FísicaPontifica Universidad Catòlica de Chile22 SantiagoChile

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