Optical Lattices

Note: This project has been replaced by the BEC project.

Graduate Students: Rachel Sapiro, Rui Zhang (graduated in 2008), Natalya Morrow (graduated in 2005), Subrata Dutta (graduated in 2000)

An Optical lattice (OL) is an array of periodic light-shift potentials formed due to interference of two or more laser beams. Atoms are cooled and localized in the potential minima.

                       1D                                                   3D

OL demonstrate many of the characteristics associated with solid state lattices, with the important difference that they have significantly longer coherence times - which facilitates observation of coherent phenonema such as tunneling, Bloch oscillations, and Wannier-Stark ladders.


The shape of the OL can be easily tailored by varying the parameters of the light field or applying an external magnetic field.

Learn more about Optical Lattices






This project was supported by