Atom optics: Old ideas, current technology, and new results

D. E. Pritchard, A. D. Cronin, S. Gupta, D. A. Kokorowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Atom optics is the coherent manipulation of the atomic matter waves originally postulated by the developers of quantum mechanics. These pioneers also proposed the use of stimulated light forces to manipulate particles. These ideas have been combined with current technology to produce the field of atom optics. This, in turn, has shed new light on old quantum problems like the which way problem and the origins of quantum decoherence. Bose Einstein condensates combine naturally with atom optics to produce new results such as the coherent amplification of matter waves. This review of atom optics traces these connections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-54
Number of pages20
JournalAnnalen der Physik (Leipzig)
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Atom laser
  • Atom optics
  • De Broglie
  • Decoherence
  • Matter wave interferometer
  • Quantum physics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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