Quantized rotation of atoms from photons with orbital angular momentum

Mikkel Andersen, C Ryu, P Clade, Vasant Natarajan, A Vaziri, Kristian Helmerson, W D Phillips

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We demonstrate the coherent transfer of the orbital angular momentum of a photon to an atom in quantized units of ??., using a 2-photon stimulated Raman process with Laguerre-Gaussian beams to generate an atomic vortex state in a Bose-Einstein condensate of sodium atoms. We show that the process is coherent by creating superpositions of different vortex states, where the relative phase between the states is determined by the relative phases of the optical fields. Furthermore, we create vortices of charge 2 by transferring to each atom the orbital angular momentum of two photons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170406-1 - 170406-4
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

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