We present experimental results for the dynamics of cold atoms in a far detuned amplitude-modulated optical standing wave. Phase-space resonances constitute distinct peaks in the atomic momentum distribution containing up to 65% of all atoms resulting from a mixed quantum chaotic phase space. We characterize the atomic behavior in classical and quantum regimes and we present the applicable quantum and classical theory, which we have developed and refined. We show experimental proof that the size and the position of the resonances in phase space can be controlled by varying several parameters, such as the modulation frequency, the scaled well depth, the modulation amplitude, and the scaled Planck’s constant of the system. We have found a surprising stability against amplitude noise. We present methods to accurately control the momentum of an ensemble of atoms using these phase-space resonances which could be used for efficient phase-space state preparation.
- Received 30 August 2000
- Published 6 August 2001
© 2001 The American Physical Society