We report a different type of optical Stern-Gerlach effect, where a magnetic-field gradient is replaced with a light-intensity gradient and a paramagnetic atom is deflected according to its magnetic quantum number. The laser light is detuned between the [Formula Presented] and [Formula Presented] frequencies, with the size of the detuning from the [Formula Presented] resonance being twice that from the [Formula Presented] resonance, and it is circularly polarized to produce an ac Stark shift that takes the form of a pure Zeeman shift. Slow rubidium atoms are extracted from a magneto-optical trap and then spin polarized. The atoms traversing the laser-intensity gradient on one side of the Gaussian beam profile show deflections that depend on the atomic spin state and the laser polarization. When the laser-beam axis is aligned with the slit that defines the atomic beam, we observe focusing and defocusing of the atomic beam.
|Number of pages||1|
|Journal||Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2002 Jan 1|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics