Atomic beams


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Atomic beams

Unidirectional streams of neutral atoms passing through a vacuum. These atoms are virtually free from the influence of neighboring atoms but may be subjected to electric and magnetic fields so that their properties may be studied. The technique of atomic beams is identical to that of molecular beams. For historical reasons the latter term is most generally used to describe the method as applied to either atoms or molecules.

The method of atomic beams yields extremely accurate spectroscopic data about the energy levels of atoms, and hence detailed information about the interaction of electrons in the atom with each other and with the atomic nucleus, as well as information about the interaction of all components of the atom with external fields. See Molecular beams

References in periodicals archive ?
Grisham is a world leader in the development of high-power atomic beams based on the production of the unusual negatively charged hydrogen ion.
Drullinger, Velocity distributions of atomic beams by gated optical pumping, in Proc.
Because of the velocity spread in the atomic beam, this separation is not perfect, so some atoms in other [m.
Shirley, Some causes of resonant frequency shifts in atomic beam machines, J.
They also suggest ways of constructing such gates out of quantum dots, atomic beams, or trapped ions interacting with laser beams.
Metcalf predicts this method wil not only improve the quality of experiments involving atomic beams, atomic fountains (SN: 8/19/89, p.
While other research teams work with fast-moving atomic beams, Chu slowly pumps laser-cooled atoms through his interferometer with an "atomic fountain" (SN:8/19/89, p.
In one such device, a calcium atomic beam is divided into four wave paths by two laser beams perpendicular to the atoms.
Chu's fountain can deliver atoms much more slowly than an atomic beam, he says, but it cannot yet match the beam's intensity--the number of atoms delivered.
This should yield an effect about 1,000 times larger, but experimentalists have not yet devised a way to produce atomic beams with the right characteristics for such an experiment.

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