B. A. Stickler and K. Hornberger

Molecular rotations in matter-wave interferometry

Phys. Rev. A

Abstract:

We extend the theory of matter-wave interferometry of pointlike particles to nonspherical objects by taking the orientational degrees of freedom into account. In particular, we derive the grating transformation operator, which maps the impinging state onto the outgoing state, for a general, orientation-dependent interaction potential between the grating and the molecule. The grating operator is then worked out for the diffraction of symmetric top molecules from standing light waves, and the resulting interference pattern is calculated in the near field. This allows us to identify a signature of the orientational degrees of freedom in near-field matter-wave experiments.

(8 pages, 4 figures)
[pdf,
journal,
arXiv:1506.06026
]

doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.92.023619 (c) The American Physical Society