# Diffuse atomic reflection at a rough mirror

C. Henkel, K. Mølmer, R. Kaiser, N. Vansteenkiste, C. I. Westbrook, and A. Aspect
*Phys. Rev. A* **55** (1997) 1160-1178.
**Abstract**

We present a theoretical analysis of the influence of surface roughness on the atomic reflection from an evanescent wave mirror. In our calculations we assume that the light scattered at the rough dielectric surface interferes with the evanescent wave, creating a rough potential that scatters the atoms. We calculate the probability of diffuse reflection and the momentum distribution of the scattered atoms with a statistical model for the rough surface. The atomic reflection is diffuse rather than specular if the surface roughness is comparable to the wavelength of the incident atoms. We discuss the spatial coherence of the reflected matter waves. We indicate how to generalize our treatment of the case of multilevel atoms.

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