Register to reply

Liouville's theorem and atom optics

by Niles
Tags: atom, liouville, optics, theorem
Share this thread:
May4-12, 02:50 PM
P: 1,863

Say I have an oven, from which atoms are effusing through a very small aperture. By "small" I mean such that it does not disturb the thermal equilibrium of the atoms. Now say I choose to e.g. shine laser light onto the atoms transversely to the direction from which the atoms emerge out of the oven. Under perfect condition, i.e. when treating the motion of the atoms classically, the atomic beam is collimated.

Is it correct to say that the laser beams are the reason why Liouville's theorem is invalid in this case? I.e., that the beams act dissipatively, thus the volume in phase space is not conserved?

Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on
Engineers develop new sensor to detect tiny individual nanoparticles
Tiny particles have big potential in debate over nuclear proliferation
Ray tracing and beyond

Register to reply

Related Discussions
Second Liouville Theorem Calculus & Beyond Homework 0
Liouville's Theorem General Math 2
Liouville's theorem Advanced Physics Homework 5
Liouville's theorem General Physics 5
Liouville theorem, anyone? General Math 0