J. Phys. IV France
Volume 12, Numéro 5, June 2002
Page(s) 107 - 114

J. Phys. IV France
12 (2002) Pr5-107
DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20020103

A beam-splitter for cold atoms realised with two dipole guides

L. Pruvost, D. Kadio and O. Houde

Laboratoire Aimé Cotton, CNRS Il, bâtiment 505, Campus d'Orsay, 99405 Orsay cedex, France

A beam-splitter for cold atoms is realised with two dipole guides which intersect. Each guide is created by an intense laser beam produced by a Nd:YAG laser. The cold atom cloud, introduced in one guide via the gravity field, is split into two parts when it passes through the intersection region of the guides. The laser frequency is so far detuned from the rubidium atomic resonance that guiding and splitting are obtained without any losses. The coupling in the guide intersection is strong enough to realise an output angle of 7° and an efficiency of 40%. With the beam-splitter a macroscopic separation of the atomic packets larger than one millimetre is demonstrated at a distance of about 5 mm after the intersection. Furthermore the split atomic clouds are guided in each arm of the beam-splitter. Details about the guides (realisation and performance) and an application using a concave atomic mirror are also given in order to describe the beam-splitter and its use.

© EDP Sciences 2002