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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 4 — Feb. 16, 2009
  • pp: 2319–2325

A two-state Raman coupler for coherent atom optics

J. E. Debs, D. Döring, N. P. Robins, C. Figl, P. A. Altin, and J. D. Close  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 4, pp. 2319-2325 (2009)

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We present results on a Raman laser-system that resonantly drives a closed two-photon transition between two levels in different hyperfine ground states of 87Rb. The coupler is based on a novel optical design for producing two phase-coherent optical beams to drive a Raman transition. Operated as an outcoupler, it produces an atom laser in a single internal atomic state, with the lower divergence and increased brightness typical of a Raman outcoupler. Due to the optical nature of the outcoupling, the two-state outcoupler is an ideal candidate for transferring photon correlations onto atom-laser beams. As our laser system couples just two hyperfine ground states, it has also been used as an internal state beamsplitter, taking the next major step towards free space Ramsey interferometry with an atom laser.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(020.0020) Atomic and molecular physics : Atomic and molecular physics
(020.1335) Atomic and molecular physics : Atom optics
(020.1475) Atomic and molecular physics : Bose-Einstein condensates

ToC Category:
Atomic and Molecular Physics

Original Manuscript: December 15, 2008
Revised Manuscript: February 1, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: February 4, 2009
Published: February 5, 2009

J. E. Debs, D. Döring, N. P. Robins, C. Figl, P. A. Altin, and J. D. Close, "A two-state Raman coupler for coherent atom optics," Opt. Express 17, 2319-2325 (2009)

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  18. It should be noted that in previous work on Raman superradiance [19, 20], atoms are removed from a condensate accompanied by a change in hyperfine ground state. Although it may be tempting to refer to this as an outcoupling process, we feel that this physical mechanism cannot be associated with the term "outcoupling" in the context of atom lasers. Firstly and foremost, the process transfers atoms to an untrapped state, which is unsuitable for atom lasers and their applications. Secondly, superradiance typically operates in a short pulse regime, and cannot be operated continuously.
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