Abstract : This manuscript presents various experimental and theoretical aspects concerning a specific
system of atom optics : the atom laser. In our experiment, this one results from a
Bose-Einstein condensate of rubidium 87 and we thus initially detail the various cooling
techniques used to obtain this coherent atomic source in a hybrid ferromagnetic trap.
The atom lasers we produce are extracted from the condensed cloud by radiofrequency,
and propagate vertically under the effect of gravity. One specificity of our setup lies in the
strong magnetic confinement used, which results in non negligible collisional interactions between
the laser and the condensed source. We show that this has an influence, not only on the
atom laser coupling dynamics, but also on its propagation. We indeed observe a transverse
structure containing caustics on the laser beam. By using methods initially developed for
photonic optics (eikonal approximation, Fresnel-Kirchhoff integral, ABCD matrices), we calculate
the atom laser wavefunction. Moreover, we characterize the matter wave propagation
in the paraxial regime by using the beam quality factor M2.
We finally report the realization of an atom laser, guided by a horizontal optical potential,
which enables us to cancel the acceleration due to gravity in such way, that the De Broglie
wavelength remains constant throughout propagation.