Atom optics in a nutshell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter presents a brief introduction to atom optics, assuming only a basic knowledge of elementary physics ideas such as conservation of energy and conservation of momentum, and making only limited use of elementary algebra. Starting from a historical perspective we introduce the idea of wave-particle duality, a fundamental tenet of quantum mechanics that teaches us that atoms, just like light, behave sometimes as waves, and sometimes as particles. It is this profound but counter-intuitive property that allows one to do with atoms much of what is familiar from conventional optics. However, because in contrast to photons atoms have a mass, there are also fundamental differences between the two that have important consequences. In particular this property opens up a number of applications that are ill-suited for conventional optical methods. After explaining why it is particularly advantageous to work at temperatures close to absolute zero to benefit most readily from the wave nature of atoms we discuss several of these applications, concentrating primarily on the promise of atom microscopes and atom interferometers in addressing fundamental and extraordinarily challenging questions at the frontier of current physics knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptics in Our Time
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Pages337-357
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783319319032
ISBN (Print)9783319319025
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Fingerprint

atom optics
Optics
Atoms
atoms
conservation
Conservation
optics
Physics
absolute zero
physics
concentrating
Quantum theory
quantum mechanics
algebra
counters
Interferometers
Algebra
interferometers
microscopes
Momentum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Meystre, P. (2016). Atom optics in a nutshell. In Optics in Our Time (pp. 337-357). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-31903-2_14

Atom optics in a nutshell. / Meystre, Pierre.

Optics in Our Time. Springer International Publishing, 2016. p. 337-357.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Meystre, P 2016, Atom optics in a nutshell. in Optics in Our Time. Springer International Publishing, pp. 337-357. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-31903-2_14
Meystre P. Atom optics in a nutshell. In Optics in Our Time. Springer International Publishing. 2016. p. 337-357 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-31903-2_14
Meystre, Pierre. / Atom optics in a nutshell. Optics in Our Time. Springer International Publishing, 2016. pp. 337-357
@inbook{44f3a59fdcca4650a77a7add4c548a1b,
title = "Atom optics in a nutshell",
abstract = "This chapter presents a brief introduction to atom optics, assuming only a basic knowledge of elementary physics ideas such as conservation of energy and conservation of momentum, and making only limited use of elementary algebra. Starting from a historical perspective we introduce the idea of wave-particle duality, a fundamental tenet of quantum mechanics that teaches us that atoms, just like light, behave sometimes as waves, and sometimes as particles. It is this profound but counter-intuitive property that allows one to do with atoms much of what is familiar from conventional optics. However, because in contrast to photons atoms have a mass, there are also fundamental differences between the two that have important consequences. In particular this property opens up a number of applications that are ill-suited for conventional optical methods. After explaining why it is particularly advantageous to work at temperatures close to absolute zero to benefit most readily from the wave nature of atoms we discuss several of these applications, concentrating primarily on the promise of atom microscopes and atom interferometers in addressing fundamental and extraordinarily challenging questions at the frontier of current physics knowledge.",
author = "Pierre Meystre",
year = "2016",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/978-3-319-31903-2_14",
language = "English (US)",
isbn = "9783319319025",
pages = "337--357",
booktitle = "Optics in Our Time",
publisher = "Springer International Publishing",

}

TY - CHAP

T1 - Atom optics in a nutshell

AU - Meystre, Pierre

PY - 2016/1/1

Y1 - 2016/1/1

N2 - This chapter presents a brief introduction to atom optics, assuming only a basic knowledge of elementary physics ideas such as conservation of energy and conservation of momentum, and making only limited use of elementary algebra. Starting from a historical perspective we introduce the idea of wave-particle duality, a fundamental tenet of quantum mechanics that teaches us that atoms, just like light, behave sometimes as waves, and sometimes as particles. It is this profound but counter-intuitive property that allows one to do with atoms much of what is familiar from conventional optics. However, because in contrast to photons atoms have a mass, there are also fundamental differences between the two that have important consequences. In particular this property opens up a number of applications that are ill-suited for conventional optical methods. After explaining why it is particularly advantageous to work at temperatures close to absolute zero to benefit most readily from the wave nature of atoms we discuss several of these applications, concentrating primarily on the promise of atom microscopes and atom interferometers in addressing fundamental and extraordinarily challenging questions at the frontier of current physics knowledge.

AB - This chapter presents a brief introduction to atom optics, assuming only a basic knowledge of elementary physics ideas such as conservation of energy and conservation of momentum, and making only limited use of elementary algebra. Starting from a historical perspective we introduce the idea of wave-particle duality, a fundamental tenet of quantum mechanics that teaches us that atoms, just like light, behave sometimes as waves, and sometimes as particles. It is this profound but counter-intuitive property that allows one to do with atoms much of what is familiar from conventional optics. However, because in contrast to photons atoms have a mass, there are also fundamental differences between the two that have important consequences. In particular this property opens up a number of applications that are ill-suited for conventional optical methods. After explaining why it is particularly advantageous to work at temperatures close to absolute zero to benefit most readily from the wave nature of atoms we discuss several of these applications, concentrating primarily on the promise of atom microscopes and atom interferometers in addressing fundamental and extraordinarily challenging questions at the frontier of current physics knowledge.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85029130273&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85029130273&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/978-3-319-31903-2_14

DO - 10.1007/978-3-319-31903-2_14

M3 - Chapter

SN - 9783319319025

SP - 337

EP - 357

BT - Optics in Our Time

PB - Springer International Publishing

ER -