We demonstrate a coherent atomic beam splitter for metastable helium atoms, based on the diffraction of atomic matter waves from a blazed phase grating. The beam splitter is created by driving the two transitions of a three-level V system with differentially detuned standing light waves that have a relative spatial phase shift of π/2. The light fields create a potential that is approximately triangular as a function of position in the laser field. Splittings of 38 times the photon momentum have been observed.
© 1995 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 28, 1994
Published: June 1, 1995
K. S. Johnson, A. Chu, T. W. Lynn, K. K. Berggren, M. S. Shahriar, and M. Prentiss, "Demonstration of a nonmagnetic blazed-grating atomic beam splitter," Opt. Lett. 20, 1310-1312 (1995)