Abstract

We have observed momentum transfer from a standing-wave light field to an atomic beam. The atomic beam is split symmetrically into two peaks whose separation increases with field strength. The short interaction time ensures that this deflection is due to induced forces; these are described using a semiclassical dressed-atom treatment, which gives good agreement with the data. In addition to the splitting, we have observed diffraction of the atomic beam due to the exchange of even numbers of photons with the field.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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