Analysis of Kapitza-Dirac diffraction patterns beyond the Raman-Nath regime

Bryce Gadway, Daniel Pertot, René Reimann, Martin G. Cohen, Dominik Schneble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


We study Kapitza-Dirac diffraction of a Bose-Einstein condensate from a standing light wave for a square pulse with variable pulse length but constant pulse area. We find that for sufficiently weak pulses, the usual analytical short-pulse prediction for the Raman-Nath regime continues to hold for longer times, albeit with a reduction of the apparent modulation depth of the standing wave. We quantitatively relate this effect to the Fourier width of the pulse, and draw analogies to the Rabi dynamics of a coupled two-state system. Our findings, combined with numerical modeling for stronger pulses, are of practical interest for the calibration of optical lattices in ultracold atomic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19173-19180
Number of pages8
JournalOptics Express
Issue number21
StatePublished - Oct 12 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

Cite this