Atom Lithography

Vasant Natarajan


We review the two kinds of forces that near-resonant light exertson atoms—the spontaneous force that is used for laser cooling, and the stimulated force that is used for coherent manipulation of atoms. We willdiscuss an experiment where laser cooling is used to collimate an atomicbeam of sodium atoms, and the stimulated force within one period of a one dimensional standing wave is used as a lens to focus the atoms to a narrow line about 20 nm wide. This kind of atom lithography is an example of thegeneral field of atom optics in which light is used to manipulate atoms.

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