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Institute of Optics

bar_yell

Young's double-slit interferometry within an atom

Michael W. Noel and C. R. Stroud, Jr.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 75, 1252 (1995).


An experiment is described which is an analog of Young's double-slit interferometer using an atomic electron instead of light. Two phase-coherent laser pulses are used to excite a single electron into a state of the form of a pair of Rydberg wave packets that are initially on opposite sides of the orbit. The two wave packets propagate and spread until they completely overlap, then a third phase-coherent laser pulse probes the resulting fringe pattern. The relative phase of the two wave packets is varied so that the interference produces a single localized electron wave packet on one side of the orbit or the other.


Click here to download the .pdf version of the paper noel951.pdf (260 kB)


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