Abstract

We show that an attractive potential created by an evanescent wave quantum mechanically reflects an atom with nonzero probability if the atom’s incident de Broglie wavelength is larger than the decay length of the evanescent wave. The amplitude reflection coefficient is calculated by use of an analytical solution of the corresponding Schrödinger equation. We also discuss electromagnetic wave analog of the effect, the partial reflection of light at an exponentially increasing index. We interpret the quantum reflection in terms of a virtual turning point, by means of a complex stationary phase approximation. If the potential remains exponential until it becomes as deep as several hundred recoil energies, the reflection coefficient for a low-energy de Broglie wave is independent of the details of the potential far from the virtual turning point. This means that, if the evanescent wave is strong enough, interactions between the atom and the glass surface at which the evanescent wave is created can be neglected.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Figures (6)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Figure files are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Equations (71)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Metrics

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article level metrics are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription