Europhys. Lett.
Volume 47, Number 5, September 1999
Page(s) 538 - 544
Section General
Published online 01 September 2002
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i1999-00421-1

Europhys. Lett, 47 (5), pp. 538-544 (1999)

Smoothing a current-carrying atomic mirror

L. Cognet 1, V. Savalli 1, P. D. Featonby 1, K. Helmerson 1, N. Westbrook 1
C. I. Westbrook 1, W. D. Phillips 1(*), A. Aspect 1, G. Zabow 2, M. Drndic 2
C. S. Lee 2, R. M. Westervelt 2 and M. Prentiss 2

1 Laboratoire Charles Fabry de l'Institut d'Optique, Unité Mixte du CNRS No. 8501
B.P.147, 91403 Orsay CEDEX, France
2 Department of Physics, Harvard University - Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA

(received 11 March 1999; accepted in final form 1 July 1999)

PACS. 03.75Be - Atom and neutron optics.
PACS. 32.80Pj - Optical cooling of atoms; trapping.
PACS. 85.70Ay - Magnetic device characterization, design and modeling.


We have measured the magnitude and roughness of the reflecting potential produced by a current-carrying magnetic mirror from which cold rubidium atoms have been bounced at normal incidence. By varying the current in the mirror, a study of the potential barrier from which the atoms in different magnetic substates bounce has been made. A combination of time-of-flight and imaging techniques allowed us to study the roughness of the reflecting potential. We have demonstrated that the observed roughness can be reduced by additional wires to compensate for the finite-size effects, and by careful control of the direction of the magnetic bias field.


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