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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractWe study theoretically the diffraction of atoms by a standing-wave light field. Conceptually the text is divided into two parts. In the first part we deal with the coherent interaction only. We use a band theoretical approach to describe the laser-atom interaction, and to characterize two-beam resonances (Dopplerons and Bragg resonances). These two-beam resonances are major candidates to develop effective atom beam splitters. We study the interaction with classical light fields as well as with quantum fields. In the second part we take incoherent processes, i.e. spontaneous emission, into account and present a numerical scheme for the solution of the generalized optical Bloch equations. This scheme is based on the split-operator technique, and we use it to study numerically the influence of spontaneous emission on the diffraction process. We compare our results with recent experimental data, and investigate the impact of spontaneous emission on the performance of two-beam resonances.
Degree ProgramOptical Sciences