We exposed Bose-Einstein condensed sodium atoms to a traveling periodic optical potential and observed coherent splitting of the condensate due to Bragg diffraction. Using the momentum selectivity of the scattering, we were able to separate a component with a narrower momentum width from the original condensate. By repeatedly pulsing the optical potential while keeping the magnetic trap on, we successfully observed the dynamics of the split atomic wave packets in the confining magnetic potential. Such scattering permits the investigation of the mean-field interaction as well as possible demonstration of bosonic stimulation.
Citation: Physical Review Letters
Pub Type: Journals
Bose-Einstein condensate, Bragg diffraction