We investigate the evolution of Bose-Einstein condensates falling under gravity and bouncing off a mirror formed by a far-detuned sheet of light. After reflection, the atomic density profile develops splitting and interference structures which depend on the drop height, on the strength of the light sheet, as well as on the initial mean field energy and size of the condensate. We compare experimental results with simulations of the Gross-Pitaevski equation. A comparison with the behavior of bouncing thermal clouds allows us to identify quantum features specific for condensates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)