Coherent transfer of photon momentum by adiabatic following in a dark state
We demonstrate a new technique for the mechanical manipulation of atoms with light that may be used to deflect or split an atomic beam. This technique depends on the existence of an internal superposition state of the atom that is 'dark' to resonant excitation by a particular light field. An atom in a dark state may adiabatically follow a slowly varying light field in such a way that both the internal state and the atom's momentum are changed. Because the dark state never absorbs or fluoresces, the atomic coherence, necessary for atom interferometry, is preserved. We use laser-cooled Cs atoms to demonstrate the transfer of 8 photon momenta from the slowly varying laser field to the atom.
- Pub Date:
- August 1994