Category: Atomik laser


Atomik laser

By Nikozragore

December 5, Ever since its invention, the laser has been an invaluable tool in physics. It is expected that an atom laser - with the light waves replaced by the quantum waves of atoms - could have similarly important applications, for example in constructing ultra-precise clocks.

A research team led by UvA researcher Florian Schreck has now made important progress towards the creation of the first continuous atom laser. The team's results were published in Physical Review Letters earlier this week.

In an ordinary laser, light waves form a so-called coherent state: when these waves come out of the laser, they all oscillate in exactly the same way, with the same frequency and the same phase. Quantum mechanics tells us that the particles that we are made of, quarks, electrons and even whole atomsalso have wave-like properties.

Scientists overcome fundamental atom laser limit to build brightest atom laser to date

But can atoms also be put in a coherent state? Or can a laser be built where instead of light we shine with atoms? That the theoretical answer to this question is 'yes' is a fact that any physics student can easily prove. In fact, having such a device would be extremely useful: the collective vibrations of the atoms could be used for example to gauge ultra-precise atomic clocks.

However, turning the theory into an actual functioning device is not as easy as it sounds. So far, atom lasers have been created by extracting a beam of atoms from a so-called Bose-Einstein condensate, a gas cloud at very low temperature in which all atoms are in the same quantum wave state. However, putting the atoms in the same state only solves part of the problem. For most applications of an atom laser, they need to work continuously.

The real challenge is therefore to bring the atoms into the same wave state quickly enough, so that the atom laser has access to a continuous supply of these coherent particles.

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Creating a Bose-Einstein condensate typically involves cooling a gas in several stages over tens of seconds. However, the extracted atom laser beam lasts only as long as atoms remain in the condensate, typically a much shorter time of only fractions of a second. After that split second, a new supply must be made, which again takes tens of seconds - and so on.

Schreck and his team, postdoc Benjamin Pasquiou and PhD-students Shayne Bennetts and Chun-Chia Chen, now propose to achieve a continuous supply by separating the different cooling stages in space instead of time.Five parts Aluminium grinder with pollinator, green with Atomik Seeds logo laser engraved on cover top. High quality components and very low weight.

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They are created out of a Bose—Einstein condensate of atoms that are output coupled using various techniques. Much like an optical laseran atom laser is a coherent beam that behaves like a wave. There has been some argument that the term "atom laser" is misleading. Indeed, "laser" stands for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation" which is not particularly related to the physical object called an atom laser, and perhaps describes more accurately the Bose—Einstein condensate BEC.

The terminology most widely used in the community today is to distinguish between the BEC, typically obtained by evaporation in a conservative trap, from the atom laser itself, which is a propagating atomic wave obtained by extraction from a previously realized BEC. Some ongoing experimental research tries to obtain directly an atom laser from a "hot" beam of atoms without making a trapped BEC first. From the creation of the first atom laser there has been a surge in the recreation of atom lasers along with different techniques for output coupling and in general research.

The current developmental stage of the atom laser is analogous to that of the optical laser during its discovery in the s. To that effect the equipment and techniques are in their earliest developmental phases and still strictly in the domain of research laboratories.

atomik laser

The physics of an atom laser is similar to that of an optical laser. The main differences between an optical and an atom laser are that atoms interact with themselves, cannot be created as photons can, and possess mass whereas photons do not atoms therefore propagate at a speed below that of light.

However, this does not constitute a continuous atom laser since the replenishing of the depleted BEC lasts approximately times longer than the duration of the emission itself i.

Atom lasers are critical for atom holography. Similar to conventional holographyatom holography uses the diffraction of atoms. The De Broglie wavelength of the atoms is much smaller than the wavelength of light, so atom lasers can create much higher resolution holographic images. Atom holography might be used to project complex integrated-circuit patterns, just a few nanometres in scale, onto semiconductors.

Another application, which might also benefit from atom lasers, is atom interferometry. In an atom interferometer an atomic wave packet is coherently split into two wave packets that follow different paths before recombining.

Atom interferometers, which can be more sensitive than optical interferometers, could be used to test quantum theory, and have such high precision that they may even be able to detect changes in space-time. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This section needs expansion.

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Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Physical Review A. Bibcode : PhRvA. New Journal of Physics. Physical Review Letters. Bibcode : PhRvL. Archived from the original PDF on 12 June Retrieved CS1 maint: archived copy as title link. Categories : Quantum mechanics Laser types. Hidden categories: Webarchive template wayback links CS1 maint: archived copy as title Articles to be expanded from June All articles to be expanded Articles using small message boxes Articles needing additional references from November All articles needing additional references Use dmy dates from January May 7, feature.

Although both types of lasers are similar, atom lasers are still in the early stages of research with much work to be done before they can be used for applications, which may include atom lithography, atom interferometry, and magnetometry measuring magnetic fields. A key factor for both types of lasers is their flux, which is the rate at which the atoms and photons are emitted. In current atom lasers, the flux is fundamentally limited by the same outcoupling process that is used to create the atom laser in the first place.


Now in a new study published in the New Journal of Physicsresearchers from Greece and Singapore have demonstrated a novel, ultra-bright atom laser that overcomes this fundamental atom laser limit, achieving a flux of 10 7 atoms per second, which is seven times brighter than the brightest atom lasers to date.

Using the same technique, the researchers also created an ultra-cold atom beam, which at just nanoKelvin nK is two orders of magnitude colder than any atom beam reported to date.

As the researchers explain, atom lasers are usually made from clouds of atoms that are magnetically trapped and cooled to temperatures near absolute zero, the so-called Bose-Einstein condensates BECs.

atomik laser

A BEC is so cold that many of its atoms occupy their lowest energy states, or ground states. In this state the atoms lose their individual identity and form one single quantum state.

These atoms join the other atoms in the ground states by bosonic stimulation, in a process that is very similar to the amplification process in optical lasers, in which large numbers of photons are created at the same frequency and same spatial distribution.

In both cases, many particles occupy the same quantum level. To get the BEC to emit a coherent beam of atoms, radio frequency rf fields are applied to the BEC to change the atoms' trapped states to "propagating" states. This process is called "outcoupling," and causes the atoms to accelerate out of the BEC and form the atom laser beam.

The acceleration occurs due to a combination of factors, including gravity, magnetic forces, and interactions with other atoms. In current atom lasers, the rf fields used in the outcoupling process are relatively weak.

When increasing the rf field intensity bound states appear, and the output becomes irregular.

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As a result, the laser output can eventually shut off, creating a bottleneck to improving the flux. To overcome this problem, the researchers in the new study used very strong rf fields, which rather than changing the atom's states deform the trapping potential. The strong rf fields form a trap with a controllable hole that causes the atoms to spill slowly out of a small opening in the bottom edge of the BEC.

Whereas a weak rf field outcoupler cannot improve the flux past a certain point due to the formation of bound states, a strong rf field outcoupler can emit atoms from the BEC at an almost arbitrary rate, leading to a very high flux. In experiments, the researchers achieved a flux of 7.

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This flux is seven times larger than the previous maximum flux even though it uses less than half the number of atoms. The researchers predict that larger condensates combined with faster rf field pulses will further increase the flux by an order of magnitude. In the second part of their study, the researchers used the strong rf field to create an atom beam that contains an atom laser and a thermal atom beam at the same time.

This is the first time that this kind of hybrid atom beam has been demonstrated, and it is also the coldest atom beam ever reported. Even though the flux of the thermal atoms is low, the ultra-cold thermal beam may still be useful for high-resolution spectroscopy of ultra-cold collisions.

Explore further. More from Other Physics Topics. Your feedback will go directly to Science X editors. Thank you for taking your time to send in your valued opinion to Science X editors.Federal government websites often end in. The site is secure. The spectroscopic data may be selected and displayed according to wavelengths or energy levels by choosing one of the following options:. Spectral lines and associated energy levels displayed in wavelength order with all selected spectra intermixed or in multiplet order.

Transition probabilities for the lines are also displayed where available. Atomic Spectroscopy Intro - Outlines basic atomic physics concepts, explains terminology and notation. Bibliography - Bibliography of data sources used for this database.

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Help - On-line help in using the database. This database provides access and search capability for NIST critically evaluated data on atomic energy levels, wavelengths, and transition probabilities that are reasonably up-to-date. The Atomic Spectroscopy Data Center has carried out these critical compilations. Department of Commerce on behalf of the United States.

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Share Facebook. Energy levels of a particular atom or ion displayed in order of energy above the ground state. Spectroscopy and Reference data. Contacts Yuri Ralchenko.