Double and negative reflection of cold atoms in non-Abelian gauge potentials

Gediminas Juzeliunas, Julius Ruseckas, Andreas Jacob, Luis Santos, Patrik Ohberg

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51 Citations (Scopus)
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Atom reflection is studied in the presence of a non-Abelian vector potential proportional to a spin-1/2 operator. The potential is produced by a relatively simple laser configuration for atoms with a tripod level scheme. We show that the atomic motion is described by two different dispersion branches with positive or negative chirality. As a consequence of that, atom reflection shows unusual features, since an incident wave may split into two reflected ones at a barrier, an ordinary specular reflection, and an additional non-specular one. Remarkably, the latter wave can exhibit negative reflection and may become evanescent if the angle of incidence exceeds a critical value. These reflection properties are crucial for future designs in non-Abelian atom optics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200405-200409
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2008


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