Novel beams made of twisted atoms

Aug 07, 2013
Novel beams made of twisted atoms

Physicists have, for the first time, now built a theoretical construct of beams made of twisted atoms. These findings by Armen Hayrapetyan and colleagues at Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg in Germany are about to be published in the European Physical Journal D. These so-called atomic Bessel beams can, in principle, have potential applications in quantum communication as well as in atomic and nuclear processes.

The concept for twisted atom beams stems from a similar approach with twisted photon beams, which are currently used as , for instance. It was later extended to twisted electron beams, which are used to improve the magnetic mapping of biological specimens and magnetic materials by means of twisted .

The authors focused on a beam made of twisted two-level atoms, which are driven by a laser field. They created a theoretical construct by using an equation, referred to as the non-relativistic Schrödinger equation, for atoms which are moving much slower than the speed of light. Hayrapetyan and colleagues solved this equation by taking into account the propagation directions of both the atomic and . By superimposing a multitude of plane waves with well-defined amplitudes, they produced Bessel beams for two-level atoms that resonantly interact with the laser field.

The authors confirmed that their atomic beams fulfilled the two main characteristics of Bessel beams. First, they showed that these beams carry a non-zero , as reflected by a rotation of the beam's wave front around the propagation axis in a corkscrew-like manner. Second, by taking a snapshot of the atomic beam intensity they demonstrated that these beams do not spread along the propagation axis. Moreover, they were able to control the profile of laser-driven atomic Bessel beams by tuning the parameters of both the atomic and laser beams.

Explore further: Superconducting circuits, simplified

More information: Hayrapetyan, A. et al. (2013), Bessel beams of two-level atoms driven by a linearly polarized laser field, European Physical Journal D, DOI: 10.1140/epjd/e2013-30191-x

Related Stories

Physics duo create tractor beam using dual Bessel beams

Oct 22, 2012

(Phys.org)—David Ruffner and David Grier of New York University have developed a technique for using Bessel beams to draw a particle toward a source. In their paper published in Physical Review Letters they d ...

Emerging from the vortex

Feb 17, 2012

Whether a car or a ball, the forces acting on a body moving in a straight line are very different to those acting on one moving in tight curves. This maxim also holds true at microscopic scales. As such, a ...

Photonics: Beam me up

May 24, 2012

'Tractor beams' of light that pull objects towards them are no longer science fiction. Haifeng Wang at the A*STAR Data Storage Institute and co-workers have now demonstrated how a tractor beam can in fact be realized on a ...

The key to ion beams' polarisability

Jul 17, 2013

Polarisability determines the force with which an inhomogeneous external electric field acts on the ions of an ion beam. However, it can be quite tricky to obtain accurate values for this force. Now, two German theoretical ...

Recommended for you

Scientists create possible precursor to life

4 hours ago

How did life originate? And can scientists create life? These questions not only occupy the minds of scientists interested in the origin of life, but also researchers working with technology of the future. ...

Superconducting circuits, simplified

Oct 17, 2014

Computer chips with superconducting circuits—circuits with zero electrical resistance—would be 50 to 100 times as energy-efficient as today's chips, an attractive trait given the increasing power consumption ...

Protons hog the momentum in neutron-rich nuclei

Oct 16, 2014

Like dancers swirling on the dance floor with bystanders looking on, protons and neutrons that have briefly paired up in the nucleus have higher-average momentum, leaving less for non-paired nucleons. Using ...

User comments : 0