Colloquium on October 9th, 2006

Guillaume Labeyrie

Multiple scattering of light in cold atoms

In a first part of the talk, I will present a review of our experimental study of transport of near-resonant light in laser-cooled atomic vapors. Various signatures of diffusive transport will be discussed, both incoherent like radiation trapping, and coherent like coherent backscattering (CBS). Using CBS, we were able to identify and analyze 3 mechanisms causing decoherence in cold atomic vapors.
In the second part of the talk, I will describe a new instability mechanism in large magneto-optical traps due to the long-range repulsive interaction mediated by scattered photons.