RSS icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Vimeo icon
YouTube icon

Optical Lattice

An optical lattice is formed by the intersection of multiple laser beams, producing a standing wave pattern. Within that pattern, as the beams interact with each other, there are regions with higher and lower light intensity. An atom placed in the lattice will naturally tend to seek the minimal or maximal intensity points depending on the laser frequency with respect to the atom's internal state. Because lattice configurations resemble the geometrical arrangements of atoms in crystalline solids, they can be used to study atomic behaviors in a highly controlled environment. The spacing of atoms in this artificial crystal is determined by the wavelength of light and the angles at which the laser beams overlap--half a micron is typical.

There is currently no content classified with this term.

Subscribe to A Quantum Bit 

Quantum physics began with revolutionary discoveries in the early twentieth century and continues to be central in today’s physics research. Learn about quantum physics, bit by bit. From definitions to the latest research, this is your portal. Subscribe to receive regular emails from the quantum world. Previous Issues...

Sign Up Now

Sign up to receive A Quantum Bit in your email!

 Have an idea for A Quantum Bit? Submit your suggestions to