Observation of Subradiant Atomic Momentum States with Bose-Einstein Condensates in a Recoil Resolving Optical Ring Resonator

P. Wolf, S. C. Schuster, D. Schmidt, S. Slama and C. Zimmermann

We experimentally investigate the formation of subradiant atomic momentum states in Bose-Einstein condensates inside a recoil resolving optical ring resonator according to the theoretical proposal of Cola, Bigerni, and Piovella. The atoms are pumped from the side with laser light that contains two frequency components. They resonantly drive cavity assisted Raman transitions between three discreet atomic momentum states. Within a few hundred microseconds, the system evolves into a stationary subradiant state. In this state, the condensate develops two density gratings suitable to diffract the two frequency components of the pump field into the resonator. Both components destructively interfere such that scattering is efficiently suppressed. A series of subradiant states for various amplitude ratios of the two pump components between 0 and 2.1 have been observed. The results are well explained with a three state quantum model in mean field approximation

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