Ultracold atoms whose de Broglie wavelength is of the same order as an extended confining potential can experience waveguiding along the potential. When the transverse kinetic energy of the atoms is sufficiently low, they can be guided in the lowest order mode of the confining potential by analogy with light guided by a single mode optical fiber. We have obtained the first images of the transverse mode structure of guided matter waves in a confining potential with up to 65% of atoms in the lowest order mode. The coherence of the guided atomic de Broglie waves is demonstrated by the diffraction pattern produced when incident upon a two dimensional periodic structure. Such coherent waveguides will be important atom optic components in devices with applications such as atom holography and atom interferometry.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 7 Jan 2010|