Interference between Quantum Paths in Coherent Kapitza-Dirac Effect
In the Kapitza-Dirac effect, atoms, molecules, or swift electrons are diffracted off a standing wave grating of the light intensity created by two counter-propagating laser fields. In ultrafast electron optics, such a coherent beam splitter offers interesting perspectives for ultrafast beam shaping. Here, we study, both analytically and numerically, the effect of the inclination angle between two laser fields on the diffraction of pulsed, low-energy electron beams. For sufficiently high light intensities, we observe a rich variety of complex diffraction patterns. These do not only reflect interferences between electrons scattered off intensity gratings that are formed by different vector components of the laser field. They may also result, for certain light intensities and electron velocities, from interferences between these ponderomotive scattering and direct light absorption and stimulated emission processes, usually forbidden for far-field light. Our findings may open up perspectives for the coherent manipulation and control of ultrafast electron beams by free-space light.
- Pub Date:
- May 2019
- Quantum Physics;
- Physics - Optics