Mechanical effect of retroreflected frequency-chirped laser pulses on two-level atoms

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We discuss the mechanical momentum transfer to two-level atoms by a pair of short, counterpropagating, frequency-chirped laser pulses, which partially overlap each other in the atomic medium. We show that such a pulse pair can induce a much greater change of momentum than pulses that do not overlap (interact separately with the atoms). The dispersive effect on the atomic velocity distribution is shown to be much smaller for the case of overlapping pulses. Furthermore, there are regimes where the method is not sensitive to the exact values of the pulse parameters or the initial velocity distribution. The interaction can be repeated for a cumulative effect, so a sequence of such pulse pairs can be used very effectively to manipulate the mechanical motion of atoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number013401
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 3 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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