Difference between a photon's momentum and an atom's recoil.


When an atom absorbs a photon from a laser beam that is not an infinite plane wave, the atom's recoil is less than variant Planck's k in the propagation direction. We show that the recoils in the transverse directions produce a lensing of the atomic wave functions, which leads to a frequency shift that is not discrete but varies linearly with the field… (More)